Let’s start there. That’s a tough sentence to finish, right? Massive wildfires, a pandemic, shelter-in-place orders, the tragic loss of RBG… To the questionable—yet I assure you it was real—Kanye West running for POTUS, toilet paper shortages, household Wi-Fi bandwidths stretched to their limits, and suddenly understanding why our dogs peer through the windows at the front of the house waiting for the mail. Waiting for anything, really. Yep it all happened, and all the posts this month prove we all have silver linings that helped us get through it. After all, seeing the upside of down is how we evolve, right?
This was my toughest year on record—both personally and professionally—but it was also my most rewarding. Why? Because I learned.
Things I learned to love in 2020, a thread:
My husband is an intense lover of vacuuming and dish washing. No wonder the house was always clean when I would get home after 10 hours at the office. /1
Someone will *literally* bring you food and leave it on your doorstep. No interaction required. Alcohol included. /2
Having two cars is obscenely unnecessary when you a) don’t have kids and b) work from home. Goodbye 2x monthly car payment, insurance, and gasoline. /3
It’s ok to fail. It’s even better to fail fast. It’s further proof that you’re trying. /4
Being an IT pro is a strong flex. Seriously, we kept businesses up and running and our home networks happy. /5
Masks and social distancing. I have a condition that includes immunodeficiency and in a typical year, I would have come down with some sort of respiratory infection every other month. But it’s now been 11 months since the last time I was sick. Nevertheless, please don’t ask me if I want these things to still be in place post-pandemic, because I will have an oddly unsatisfying, wavering opinion. /6
Knowing the day of the week is far less important than knowing where you are at this point and time. Yes, March was 284 days long. But I’ll be damned if it wasn’t (arguably) the most productive, introspective month of our recent lives. People slowed down, reassessed priorities, and many made drastic changes to pursue happiness, myself included. In a time when everything is “locked down,” we sure made some major moves along the way. /8
Meetings start on time now. Entering a meeting with 10 people already on the call and it’s not even :01 past the hour? If you told me in January that on-time attendance was a requirement in 2020, I would’ve preemptively set an auto response in Teams saying “I am perpetually running late due to conference room hopping. See you in a minute.” /9
Oh, and our jealousy-eliciting, always-working-remote colleagues no longer need to ask the meeting organizer to dial in the room. /9.5
Drive in movie theaters made a comeback! /10
Seventy percent of my wardrobe suddenly became acceptable attire outside of a gym setting. /11
Conscious relationships. Those who only stayed in touch because they needed something suddenly stopped calling. Meanwhile, I’ve been able to be more present and authentic in relationships that are bidirectionally invested. Conversely, my relationship with coworkers I knew very little about have become human. Now we start meetings by saying hello to their kids, dogs, cats, spouses, before acknowledging the person we’re actually meeting with. /7
Which leads me to a shout-out to my team and the entire THWACK community. We’ve been doing this online community thing for awhile (17 years, 6 months, 17 days. But who’s counting, right?) There isn’t a day that goes by that my team and I aren’t in awe of what all you have done here. We frequently find ourselves shuffling more folks into our top 8 merely because of your commitment to the success of your peers (MySpace Tom, we miss you!) I often say we have the best jobs in the company because we get to talk to you all, day in and day out. Don’t sleep on that compliment, either. I’m far more pessimistic than this blog post leads to believe.
Lastly, we rallied together in historic fashion. 2020—and I cannot stress this enough—was the most dichotomous, chaotic, surreal, tragic, sublime year in recent history. Your community means more now than ever. The lack of in-person interaction drove us to strive for change and reach people in ways never done before. Whether it be getting your hands dirty in a new hobby, discussing uncomfortable topics with those who have opposing views, or sharing your expertise out of sheer goodwill knowing it could help 1 person or 1,000. This year, we witnessed some of the most profound expression of understanding, listening and action. We learned. /14
SolarWinds solutions are rooted in our deep connection to our user base in the THWACK® online community.
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