Tag: Covid-19

Opportunity Comes Once Every 6,700 Years

Today my personal Facebook page gave me a bittersweet reminder of where I was as a freelance writer one year ago. That day last year I posted a link to a piece I did for my first on-going client of which I was particularly proud.

It is bittersweet because of how quickly a string of very promising leads this spring amounted to naught. It was partly a failure on my part to seal the deals, but it also had a lot to do with the emergence of Covid-19. I do my freelance work mostly from home, whereas the leads were customer-facing places of business. Surely they were keeping a very close eye on the unfolding situation.

Not that I wasn’t. Maybe it was the idealist in me that kept plugging away at leads as though the world were not about to be drastically upended. Maybe it is the idealist in me that keeps me believing that I’ll have those opportunities again, and what keeps me promoting my freelance business. It was still fairly new when Covid came along, so it turns out last year amounted to its glory days.

I’ve been thinking a lot about all of this as the Neowise comet passes by this week. If you aren’t aware of it, the comet will be visible between now and July 24th, and will not return for 6,700 Earth years. If you’re doing the math at home, that is a once-in-almost-one-hundred-lifetimes sight to see.

We’ve all probably been told at some point that certain opportunities come once in a lifetime. Covid or no Covid, a lot of us can’t help but wondering what opportunities we allowed to shoot right past and burn out before our eyes before Covid came along and made it all kind of irrelevant. That’s not something one ought to dwell on, and I won’t.

I don’t think that last summer was my only window when it comes to local freelance writing. Because I know that commerce will bounce back, one way or another. It may not look like it did last summer, but we will recover. So I hope that when my fellow local business owners get back on their feet, I will be able to connect with them and help them in that recovery.

For tonight, I think I’ll head outside and sit under the stars for a while and take in a celestial spectacle. At least of that one I can be certain this week is my one chance in this lifetime. I don’t want to miss it.

When The World Falls Apart, Put It Back Together

About a week before all Hell broke loose and everything started shutting down, I got a new wheelchair which I promptly dubbed “the company vehicle.” I fully intended to be all over town in my chair spreading the word about my business. I fully intended to be too busy for my own good by Memorial Day. Before my state locked down due to COVID-19 I had three different companies that had expressed interest in my work.

Then everything went silent. And rightly so. No one could confidently put a freelance writer in their immediate budget. I don’t know if I adjusted with a great deal of grace, but I’ve kept writing at least.

The events of 2020 have reinforced for all of us the importance of preparation for the unexpected. Actually it has made clear that there is no preparing for the unexpected.

Because it’s unexpected.

That’s kind of its jam.

You don’t see it coming.

So “preparation” may be a misnomer in this case. The only thing even resembling “preparation” for it is to maintain a state in which you are able to respond even when events unfold that are unlike anything in your experience. It is safe to say 2020 fits that description.

Full disclosure: I have a job apart from my freelance work. I would not be broken were Dailey Freelance to disappear tomorrow. But though I have not had any leads or clients in months, I have not stopped posting on my company Facebook page. And with a few exceptions, I have kept this blog the “weekly” that its name says it is. Because, simply put, it means something to me.

I’ll never be in the shoes of a person who has built a business for 30 years only to see it crash because of the COVID-19 fallout. But I have listened to people who are in that position, and I feel that what they have to lose means infinitely more to them. Because they believed in it enough to make it their one and only source of income. That speaks volumes, I’d say. I am only working my way toward that, right now.

I know we are a nation of people who will hold fast to what we have worked for. Now that we are able to – or soon will be able to – begin rebuilding, we will do so with the same heart and soul we put into our businesses when we first started out.

With a renewed vigor.

With a renewed sense of why we ever opened up shop in the first place.

We don’t agree on how or when or how quickly we should return commerce in America back to “normal” and mistakes will inevitably be made. But one thing is clear:

People are responding to the on-going lock down the way they are because getting back at it matters. The foundations they’ve built their lives upon matter to them. And I have to respect that.

So as we try to bring back some semblance of linear motion in our lives, please, take care of yourselves and your family, but also please, please….you know what? Because it feels extremely appropriate right now I’m just going to leave one of my favorite Red Hot Chili Peppers lyrics for whatever it’s worth:

One, two, buckle my shoe / take care of me ’cause I might be you

Happy Quarentine’s Day

I spelled it wrong on purpose. That’s “Quarentine’s” which rhymes with “Valentine’s.”

You see, over the last few weeks, couples have learned a lot about their relationships, it seems. For these couples, being at home together all day, every day has brought to the forefront an assortment of minor annoyances that maybe aren’t so minor when you are suddenly forced to confront them all day, every day.

Full disclosure, my wife and I have just as many squabbles as any average couple, I’m sure. And we’re not even shut in together as I am still working my day job Monday to Friday. But it straight-up shocked me when I started hearing all of the talk about how divorce was going to skyrocket in America as a result of this ordeal. Then I started hearing actual couples after actually being shut in together for just a couple of weeks talking about how impatient they were getting with each other. It’s mostly a nation-wide running joke at this point, but all jokes, no matter how exaggerated, have at least a morsel of truth in them.

Not that I don’t think my wife an I might be at each other’s throats from time to time if we were together all day every day, but this whole situation has got me thinking about why we get married in the first place.

Why we choose to spend our lives with the one person that we choose.

Why we refer to it as “spending our lives together” at all.

I think for most of us it’s because she or he is the one person with whom we feel like we really could do just that. With that in mind, I want to tell you the story of the night I met my wife.

We met on an MSN chat room (remember those?) in the fall of 1999 and our first conversation was an argument. You see, that night, I was just in their killing time, as was she. Neither of us were “looking for love”. My wife’s very first impression of me was that I was a jerk.

She was not wrong.

At the moment I was publicly roasting some guy for the way he was openly flirting with women. My wife told me off, I defended my actions and we went back and forth. We ended up talking privately and eventually I made her laugh and convinced her I wasn’t really a jerk.

I mean, not really.

We talked for a while but left it at that not really thinking anything of it. Fast forward a few nights later, and I saw her in the chat room again. She was using the same name as the night we’d met but I had changed mine. So when I asked her if she remembered me, she said she didn’t. Though I gave her a few details of our conversation, she is a cautious type. Even if she did remember me, she said she didn’t.

I had actually changed my MSN chat room handle a few times since we’d met. So I had to rattle off a few different, increasingly embarrassing monikers until I finally said the one she remembered, at which point she conceded that she did, in fact remember me and the rest is history. We spend the first four years of our relationship going months on end without actually being together.

Had I not been able to come up with that name before she got tired of dealing with me, she may have put me on ignore if that was an option. We would never have spent those four years mostly apart learning how much we did not want to be apart anymore. She would never have become my wife.

We don’t know if at some point we will also be experiencing this current hyper-togetherness, and for how long. For you, if nothing else comes of it, may you at least be reminded of what it was about your significant other that made you want to actually and really “spend your life” with them.

Happy Quarentine’s Day!

Gone: “Viral”

Coronavirus (Covid-19) is no laughing matter. We don’t know how many people’s health will be affected, or how much it will disrupt our lives. But it is easy to get overwhelmed with worry about what could happen, if you think about it too much. I found myself in a heavy funk on the way to work yesterday, allowing some rather apocalyptic scenarios to dance in my head.

Throughout the day I decided that while I plan to be as cautious as is prudent right now, I will not entertain “worst case scenarios” if all it’s going to do is deplete my peace of mind.

I came home last night determined to write something, if not uplifting, then at least light-hearted. With that in mind, I’ve been thinking we should hold off on using the phrase “gone viral” in reference to social media. Under current circumstances, the words just carry too much weight. And again, it does affect our peace of mind to think about negative situations too much.

Covid-19 is nothing to make light of, but it is a fact of life that the way we are doing things is at least temporarily shifting. So long as that is true, there must be other ways to talk about a post, picture, video or what have you, that spreads far and wide on social media.

Here are just a few off the top of my head:

  1. Warped: Remember Super Mario Bros, how you’d be in that underground brick room and you’d find the secret door and suddenly you’d be in the sky jumping across tree tops? I don’t remember if that was how it went but the point is you’d warp, and out of nowhere you’d take a giant leap forward. (See also, “Leveled up”)
  2. Hulking up: I don’t know how old you are, but surely you’ve seen Hulk Hogan back in his day when he’d rip his shirt off and go into that whole head shaking, finger wagging, convulsive sweating routine. When he did that you knew he was about to go off. Now when you hear “Hulk” most of us probably think of the Marvel comics Hulk. Same deal. When he went off, big things happened.
  3. Gone Poprocks and Coke: Since I am clearly in throwback mode here, though I wouldn’t recommend it: You know that thing where you dump a whole package of Poprocks in your mouth and then you guzzle some soda and your whole face explodes or whatever? Yeah. I think that is a fine metaphor for how quickly a good post can be everywhere.
  4. Uncorked: Same concept, much less dangerous with proper eyewear. Celebratory in nature.
  5. Kardashing: Why not name it after the people that made viral social media posts a thing in the first place? It just feels right.

    I’m sure you have some better ideas. Let’s hear them. If nothing else this could be an exercise in finding different ways of doing things. Again, we don’t know how much our lives are going to change at least for the immediate future. In the meantime, please take care of yourselves, and watch out for each other.