What am I learning from Working at home with my Wife
My wife and I celebrated our 37th anniversary last September and I am looking forward to our 38th this coming fall. What I didn't expect is that we would have a world-wide pandemic in 2020 that would put both of us working together from home. This is not the first time we have worked from home together. She worked with my search firm in the 2009 time frame and we both decided that she might enjoy working outside the home more. I have worked from home much of the last 14 years and have acquired a taste for the seclusion and freedom this work brings. Having us both in the same household has provide both of us some great learning opportunities once again and I'll share them with you. There may even be a bit of humor in some of this.
- I end up being the IT function for the family in many cases. Even though my engineering and hardware days are distant in the rear view mirror, I end up handling much of the technology work that occurs here at home. When a machine doesn't stay on the network or we have a printing problem I typically end up fixing these. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy this most of the time, but in some occasions it gets a little frustrating when things occur and there seems to be no reason why they occur. Just like in life, it's not what happens that causes the problems, but how we react and deal with those issues. I am glad my wife doesn't have to pay for my IT expertise. If she did, I would be paying her instead of her paying me.
- Exercise and Activity are essential. During our "normal lives" my wife and I typically venture to the Franklin YMCA four to five days per week, every week. This has obviously stopped and it has caused us to seek out new resources for our health and well being. We had already found some good stretching routines that we have used for months, but now we need to add some more cardio-related activities in addition to this as well as some type of weight training. The pandemic has caused a number of things to be almost impossible to find and one of those is dumbbells. I cannot tell you how many providers I have searched through to find ten to fifteen pound dumbbells, with none being avaialble for the near future. Without exercise, we would go insane. I am just about to the point where I'll get a couple of gallon jugs and fill them with water. That would be a little over eight pounds each and it would fill the bill for now.
- Prayer is essential. This part of my life has not had to shift much because I have started each day with quiet time for years. While the exercise is important, the quiet time and prayer is almost a must have to keep things in the proper perspective. Without my faith, I would be a shambles as I see my asset base diminish by 25-40%. Having been through similar crises in the past (consider 2009-2010), I know that God is always in control and even through that time I never missed a meal nor did I have to worry about where I would sleep or my safety. I believe the same will be true now and know that my future destination will be much improved over this world even though I have been abundantly blessed in this one.
- Pandemics do have positive side effects. This is a bonus point and it has to do with staying closer to home and confining our space. As we walk through our neighborhood we now see many people, especially children, that we had rarely come across before. I remarked to my wife this week that we will all get to know our neighbors much better as a result of this pandemic. My life sometimes becomes overrun with issues that take me away from those who live close by. This series of events has refocused my efforts and energies locally and I look forward to seeing who is right around the corner from me now.
No one wants to live through a global pandemic. On the other hand, going through these circumstances has provided my wife and I a number of opportunities to help each other and also help those who are really close by.
Let's not forget what we learn from this crisis.
You may have to apply these learnings again one day.