Life in Place

While much of the world has come to a  halt  –  life as we know it is fundamentally different. Yet, living in the bubble of the bay, there’s an odd sense of panaic/fear/uneasiness mixed with a level of comfort still. While this situation is “once in a lifetime” and is a truly scary and deadly world pandemic. If this were 15 or 20 years ago, it could be way worse for us. Of course, this is coming from a 1st world perspective… and even moreso within the bubble of Silicon Valley.

We are blessed with internet, endless forms of entertainment that’s just a click away (either digital or ordering online), we can get all of our basic needs delivered (groceries, TOILET PAPER, cleaning supplies, etc…), and a lot of folks at big companies have a higher level of job security. The only “big” worry on my mind is how to make sure our little guy is getting the right balance of attention, learning, stimulation, and nutrition… which by no means is easy, but definitely not what other folks are experiencing.

What this current situation has taught us is that we should be very grateful for what we have and the way our companies have supported us as individuals and our communities. In that regard, I am extremely proud to be at Google.

Three Observations:

  1. While some pieces of the economy have shuttered, there are a few that are sprouting up. I’m not going to touch on the details too much here, given there are plenty of articles that outline things like internet usage (especially streaming sites) [⬆️], restaurants and bars [⬇️], porn sites [⬆️⬆️⬆️ 😂], auto sales [⬇️], etc…Coronavirus - retail visitation[Source – Comscore)Total Digital Visits Among Top Retailer Sites
    [Source – Comscore)

    For my household, we are definitely fitting into the trends – we’ve never really used grocery delivery services, but now we get it 1-3x a week. It was a coincidence that we decided to cord cut just before this, so our stream services usage has been up anyway… Especially, since we can’t really get out with the kiddo going to bed at 7-730PM.

  2. WFH (see my Work Life Balance post), but COVID-19 and Shelter-in-Place has create a whole new set of adjustments. It used to be a nice start stop with family time, work time, family time, work time, personal time, etc… Now it’s a much quicker cycle. For example, my daily routine now includes a whole lot more switches from “parent mode” to “work mode”, sometimes even in 30 minute increments. The additional layer of cooking/cleaning 3 meals a day makes it a really fun balancing act. Basically, I feel like the gif below.giphy
    With all of that said, silver linings are key in a time like this… and there’s no other scenario in which I could be spending 24/7 with my nuclear family (dogs included).giphy-1
  3. Boundaries, or lack thereof. This is related to WFH and lacking a desk… We converted our last room into the bedroom for Finley and got rid of our desk a few weeks before the SIP 🤦🏻‍♂️. There is very little “me” time, drive time, run errands time, or even time at the park. All of these moments add up. Commuting to work used to be moments where I could listen to podcasts, music, or read. Now, every waking moment with the kiddo is entertaining, prepping, watching, or working time.On the contrary, shelter in place boundaries are fundamentally changing how we interact outside of the household.

    Many occassions are coming up or have come up. How do we handle birthdays, Mother’s Day, and even the birth of our next child in a few weeks? I imagine the flower delivery services will see record sales this year, but what else?

    My “home office” which consists of the dining table and a 27″ monitor

In closing, I think the best way to summarize this period of our lives is we’ll get through it. I think the long term impact is yet to be determined, but knowing that this isn’t going to be a short pandemic… how do we prepare for the medium and long term as individuals, families, friends, and society?

For me, it’s been incredibly eye opening and resetting. Being here every day with Finley has been incredible. In a society where it is absolutely normal to have two working parents which only allows us to spend a few hours with our kiddo every day, it’s been a breath of fresh air… along with all the other stuff that comes with raising another human 😛.

-AW

 

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