Last week, I overhead my daughter talking to a handful of friends about all the things they hoped to do once the pandemic ended. What struck me about the conversation was their discussion did not include big grandiose plans and wild adventures but rather everyday tasks and activities such as going out to lunch with friends, a trip to the movies or taking our dog to the dog park.
Inspired by their conversation, I decided to reach out to a handful of my "association VIPs" and ask them what they missed, what did they want to do once we could resume some sense of normalcy.
The answers reminded me how far off we are from what was previously common in our everyday lives. But at the same time, they made me laugh, were therapeutic and provided a sense of connection.
And with that... “What are some of the things you’re most looking forward to doing once the pandemic has been controlled and we’re able to live something close to normal life again?”
Gretchen Steenstra, DelCor Technology Solutions
I look forward to spreading OUT! While I love my family, we all need to be in our regular places during the day. My kids need to be at school with their friends and teachers. I need to spend time with my colleagues and clients and so does my husband. I am perfectly content to work remotely but not with my whole family around me 24/7! I am thankful for all for all of the front line people who slog through this crisis every day. I am thankful we have professions that allow us to continue to work. I am very lucky to live in a house with a yard and a porch in a neighborhood that lets us get out for regular walks and limited interaction with neighbors and friend. The silver lining has been uninterrupted time with our family. Last year our daughter was a senior in high school and we lived either at the high school or in the car shuttling to numerous activities. They were all fun – choir trips, musicals, senior projects and activities…it was just a lot! Our kids didn’t get to spend time together and the transition to college was very hard on our son (8th grader). In the last 2 month, they have been able to hang out and have goofy teen time.
My first trip after life returns to normal will not be a trip to the salon – although it’s in the top 5. I will go to a restaurant near water with a friend and have a leisurely meal and people watch. Then I will take a long drive to a random spot ALL ALONE in the car with the windows down and radio up!
Dave Will, PropFuel--Voice of the Member Intelligent Engagement Platform
It may be cheesy, but that’s never held me back before. If you know me, you know I’m a lover, not a fighter. And so with that in mind, I miss the embrace of friends I haven’t seen in a while. I’m a physical person. I like the embrace. There a connection there that doesn’t exist when you wave from 6 feet apart.
Jay S. Daughtry, CQbd
Some current circumstances are a bit like my initial response when the power goes out. Well, since I can’t watch TV, I’ll just turn on a light and read. And then I realize that I can’t simply turn on a light. I find now that many options are limited, or I’ll hit a dead end with an alternate idea.
So, when life returns to more normalcy, I really look forward to eating at a restaurant- or more especially when the weather is pleasant, on a dining patio at a restaurant. Certain food just isn’t as good as takeout. I miss the ambiance of some places or simply like seeing a backdrop different than my own kitchen, dining room, or deck. There’s also something to be said for background chatter, piped in music from the ‘80s, watching people interact, and the dynamic energy of a restaurant.
I’d really like to go to a baseball game. 2020 was a year when I had my sights set on going to more games than usual- and at all different levels. There’s a senior at the public high school about a mile from my house who’s gotten national attention and is one of the best players in Virginia. I had hoped to be able to say someday, “Yeah, I saw him play in high school.” I also had thoughts of going to a college game, a minor league game, and a major league game this year, but at this point I would just like to get to a baseball game at any level in the near future and “root, root, root for the home team”.
Since I already worked from home primarily, my daily life on weekdays during business hours is much the same. I do miss local professional events or having meetings in Tysons, Alexandria, DC, etc. though. In fact one of my favorite things to do is to call or email an association professional to set up a time for coffee, lunch, or a meeting with them because I already have a reason to be near their office that day. I look forward to doing that again soon.
Lastly, I look forward to interactions in public where neither of us is wearing a mask. I want to be able to hear voices clearly- not muffled or muted imitations of voices, and I miss facial expressions and the sometimes subtle cues that come with them that tell us so much more.
If you are like me, you find comfort in ability to control--that we are the author of our destiny. This pandemic has turned that feeling upside down. There is no true timetable to starting up again or what that even looks like. This sense of not knowing is distracting. And yet, I hope by reading these responses you smiled, laughed, found focus or (fill in the blank).
We will be publishing additional responses to “What are some of the things you’re most looking forward to doing once the pandemic has been controlled and we’re able to live something close to normal life again?” throughout the month. Enjoy -- Patrick.