During 2020, staying positive is key. One of the positives I’ve recently noticed is that our members are appreciating the ways their current work and life circumstances have given them the perspective to see the positive over the negative.
In this Positivity Series, I will be sharing Midwest members’ positive take on work, life, and all those little unexpected things in between. Our first feature on this was by Deborah Weinstock from Minneapolis. She shared some incredibly heartwarming stories for us. Our second feature was by Catherine Williams from Indianapolis, and she had some amazing ways she has focused on the positive.
I’m excited to now share even more positivity to help all of us…!
Samantha Esposito from Chicago
Marketing Coordinator at Ginsberg Jacobs LLC
Samantha’s Professional Positive
Samantha shares that she’s learned a lot during the quarantine about balance and that she’s learned how to be a better team member and contributor because of it.
She says that back in March, when their office first shut down, she was really excited to have a chance to tackle all the back-burner work projects that she never previously had time for. She figured that with no time spent commuting or having to get ‘work-ready’ in the morning, she thought she would be unstoppable! She then shared that she admits to being a workaholic and finding it very hard to say no to new projects even when she is at capacity (er, we hear you!!). She believes she’s set a lot of questionable precedents over the years, as far as answering emails at all hours of the night and never fully unplugging on days off. Work was her #1 priority, and she never felt bothered by that previously.
After about a month of ‘living at work’ instead of ‘working from home’, she realized she was becoming a bit unpleasant and a lot burned-out. She says there are a lot of other aspects in your life that are just as important as work – and without those other aspects – life is just not going to be fulfilling; even if you’re killing it at the office. She says she used to be quick to cancel a happy hour with a friend to finish up a project, or skip a lunch workout to meet a deadline. She concedes that she will think those decisions through more carefully in the future. She says that she thinks she has found a new appreciation for the non-work things that add meaning to her life, and she is so grateful for that.
With this new appreciation, she’s started to set boundaries for herself and to prioritize her self-care more than she was doing back in March. She says while these new good practices will have their moments where they will be broken because work needs to be done of course, she tries to not feel guilty for these valuable lessons she’s learned. She now also enjoys an occasional long lunch to go out for a walk on a nice day and that some days she will push back her start time by a half hour. She says it feels great, and she’s actually a better member of her team for it, because she’s less high-strung.
Samantha’s Personal Positive
She says she’s FINALLY begun to ‘home-ify’ her apartment! She says her and her significant other have lived in the same place for almost a year and yet, they had very little furniture, and everything they did have was mainly just for substance. They didn’t do much at all in terms of decorating or personalizing their space. It just hadn’t really been a high priority for them previously. She says she worked long hours and that her significant other worked even more than her, and also that they both had always valued their active social lives. Their place was somewhere to just come home to and sleep; they didn’t spend much time there.
Once confronted with the reality of being home 24/7 for what they first thought would be weeks – it suddenly felt very important to ‘break in’ the apartment. She got busy with online furniture shopping and buying decorations (and now considers herself an IKEA assembly PRO!!). She’s also splurged here and there on little gadgets that she says would’ve seemed frivolous before, but are actually total gamechangers. Now, she feels that it is more of a home, and it’s a home that she wants to invite friends and family to visit (when its safe to do so). She admits that it will be hard for her to go back to her old way of living!
Samantha’s Unexpected Positive
Samantha shares that her interpersonal relationships have actually really flourished in this new Covid world. She says she talks to her sisters every single day and she checks in with her friends much more frequently. She says as a very extroverted person and so she was extremely concerned about going into lockdown with the potential confinement and loneliness it would likely create. But, she says it has been surprisingly not that hard because of the other ways she has now learned to communicate and stay in touch with people much more often.
She says that she feels that often, in the ‘Before Times’ (as she’s started referring to the pre-Covid days! ), we would all be running around so fast, and we might talk to so many people in a day between co-workers, and clients, and just people out and about in the city – and that got really exhausting. You could easily feel too tired at the end of the day to call your mom, or too sick of people to check in on the group chat, or just too busy to prioritize the happy hour with your college roommate that you’ve rescheduled four times. Now, we have no excuse. And, she understands at least for her, how much she needs that interaction. Plus, with so much negativity in the world, it feels important to her to just make sure the people she loves are doing okay, and to comfort each other through all of this uncertainty.
Samantha says that someday when the world returns to some level of normal, her hope is that a lot of people will carry on with the same level of kindness, gentleness and togetherness; she will certainly be trying hard to do that.
Beautiful sentiments and wonderful stories to read about – thank you Samantha!