Today, we’re facing a destructive hurricane named COVID-19. Together, we’ll endure social distancing, the ever-present fear of contracting Coronavirus, and worrying about the people we love. Our businesses and jobs will be impacted, and our way of life will be transformed in so many ways. Things will never be the same… but together we’ll get through this. 

So, what happens when we begin to come out on the other side of COVID-19 and return to life as normal? Or, as we’re referring to it now, the “new normal”?

I’ll be honest. My biggest fear, as I start approaching some representation of routine, is that I’ll forget everything I’m learning through this experience. When I’m able to go back to my office and start meeting with clients in person again, and my family can return to eating dinners out and going shopping in stores again, I’m afraid I’ll forget these lessons quickly.

I’m scared to death that I’ll start taking it all for granted again.

I don’t want to forget how much I’ve enjoyed this uninterrupted time at home with Cristina and the twins. Combine working from home with doing 8th grade at the dining room table, and I’ve been blessed with extra time alongside my kids. Evenings have been a great time for long walks and games of UNO. I’ve been reminded through this how much I value this time with the ones I’m closest to, and that I need to be intentional to create this kind of time post-COVID. 

I don’t want to forget how much I missed being the kids’ Uber driver and watching them in their activities. Now, more than ever, I value the time we spent together in the car on the way to those activities. Driving them around used to be a chore – it’s now something I crave. I’d give anything right now to sit on the sidelines of a lacrosse game watching Reagan, or in a theatre to see Riley performing on stage. I’ve been reminded how much joy those activities bring, and that I need to be intentional about soaking up every minute.

I don’t want to forget how much I missed walking into church on Sunday mornings or Wednesday nights at Bible Study with my guys. Sunday mornings can be chaotic getting everyone ready for church. On Wednesday nights, after a busy day at work, I find myself feeling like I don’t have anything left in my tank for study. Everytime, though, I walk out at the end re-energized and stronger. I’ve been reminded how much I need that in my life, and that I need to be intentional about appreciating my freedom to experience my faith. 

I don’t want to forget how much I missed spending time connecting with my friends. I miss the lunches we share, Friday afternoon brewery stops, and the early morning breakfasts. There have been hours of conversations shared about being a husband and a dad, leadership, life, our dreams and goals. I’ve been reminded that my friends help make me stronger and that I need to be intentional about making time in my life to share these moments. 

I don’t want to forget how much I’ve missed unlocking the door to my office and spending days with my team and clients. I would give anything right now to sit across from a client and share a coffee or a meal, or in a conference room talking about their marketing strategies and how we’ll help them grow. I’ve missed our team lunches and patio time, celebrating our wins together, and sharing stories about our kids. I’ve been reminded how much these relationships mean to me, and that I need to be intentional about how I cultivate these partnerships. 

These are the things that I value – the things that fill my life. My fear right now is that when COVID-19 runs its course, and life gets busy again, I’ll forget what really matters. I’ll slide right back into the rut I was in before, my focus will get fuzzy, and I’ll be less intentional about what matters. 

I’m scared to death that I’ll start taking it all for granted again.

A couple of weeks ago, Cristina and I made a list of 75 things we said we’d never take for granted again, and we shared it here. I could add 75 more things to that list today. The longer we stay isolated at home, the longer that list gets. But when push comes to shove, will I slide backward, or will I keep the right mindset about all those things I love?

That’s the whole point behind this blog and everything I’ve been writing these last two years. The “depth” part of “Depth Not Width” is all about going deep in the things that matter. I’ve been writing about it, but COVID-19 was a wake-up call for me that I need to double down on these things. If this was Vegas and I was at a table playing cards, now would be the time to go all-in.

The Takeaway

My challenge for myself and for each of you reading this is simple. When the dust settles, and our collective new-normal takes hold, let’s help hold each other accountable. Let’s remind each other what really matters, and help keep each other from taking the little things for granted.

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In this with you together…

– John