12 Jul People Like Us Do Things Like This
The year was 1983. It was the beginning of big things to come, even though I didn’t know it yet. That was the year that my now-husband, Jerry, and I went to prom together. Well, technically, not together-together. We double-dated. He went with my friend Janet. I went with his friend Jimmy. And, although it was a memorable night, it wasn’t a great one. Jimmy got pulled over for speeding… and got a ticket—so it sort of ruined the mood. But that evening was just a precursor to 1984—when Jerry and I officially started dating and then later when we had our prom encore (promcore 😂) and went to prom together-together <insert all the heart eyes here>.
Several hand-written letters, zip codes, and phone calls stood between that summer and July of 1993, when we finally got married. How did those years seem to move slower than dial-up internet; but somehow the last 28 years flew by quicker than a Jeff Bezos rocket to space? We’ve traded those long-distance letters for text messages, long road trips to see each other to planting roots and making a home and family. And from selling our plasma to pay the long-distance phone bills for day jobs—for the younger readers out there, you used to have to pay for long-distance by the minute! It was brutal!
Although it’s just an in-betweener anniversary—nothing big like 25th or 50th, it hits different his year. Some normalcy that we weren’t able to experience last year surfaced and we were able to go out and celebrate. Hurray! I know there’s no ‘new normal’. And the ‘old normal’ will likely never come back again, right? But, what’s important here is that we had some traditions, some habits, and even some mini-milestones that we used to actively celebrate and appreciate that fell to the wayside for a year or more. Getting out of the routine of enjoying all life has to offer is important! Why? Because people like us do things like this. In fact, this might be a good question for you to ask yourself. What things do people like us do? Answer that, then do them!
Ironically, these are things we used to do pre-Covid without even thinking twice; but we got out of practice. And because of that, even though our Covid-related restrictions have been heavily lifted, things just don’t quite feel ‘right’ yet. So, I did it. I asked myself that question and I’ve taken some action.
This month I took every Board Member of mine out for coffee, breakfast, or lunch. Yes, face-to-face, in-person, 100% 3-D—it’s was awesome! We had experienced a full year of Board Meetings via Zoom where everyone was a Brady Bunch square on the flatscreen and that needed to come to an end. So, we broke bread and laughed and celebrated and planned. It was joyful. It felt cathartic. It seemed normal. And, wow, did my soul need that! Adam Grant calls this “Collective Effervescence: The energy of being in a group with shared purpose“. It’s a synergy we’ve been missing since COVID began and one that deserves an encore much like our together-together prom date.
So, lately, when 5:00 o’clock hits at work, I’ve been asking my team, ‘What do people like us do?‘. Because we spent a year+ grounded. Now that we can get back to some semblance of real life, some collective effervescence, we should. So, for those that haven’t already left work yet, we walk out together and go play softball, take walks, train for a 5K, ride bikes, go to a fair, plant flowers, and shop…in stores! In fact, I just read an article where Warren Buffet, Sheryl Sandberg, Bill Gates, and all their friends just attended Billionaire Summer Camp last week—something they couldn’t do last year because of the pandemic. I’m totally not making this up—this is a real thing! But, from the looks of the Sun Valley Resort, it doesn’t look like any camp I ever attended. I guess when billionaires ask themselves, ‘What do people like us do?‘, they must say, “We go to Billionaire Summer Camp each summer in July,“…and then they do it.
Although, it was difficult at first, staying home, social-distancing, and following the CDC guidelines became the routine. And, once you get used to a routine, it’s hard to break out of it—even if you don’t really like it. So, what do people like you do? Well, you’re reading this blog, so you likely get involved in your community, donate to your favorite charities, and play in golf scrambles. And you might enjoy a glass of wine with friends, go out to a movie, attend a concert with a live band, or visit a farmer’s market. You can exit the doors of your house and your office and get out there and live again. Take on the mantra of George Bailey when he told Clarence in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, “I want to live again!”…and do it!
We may never get back to the pre-Covid norm we once had—and that’s ok. But we can begin living life with collective effervescence again—and it could be even better! After all, it is a wonderful life. And I’ve enjoyed 28 wonderful years of marriage to my main squeeze and the father of our two handsome boys—something truly worth celebrating. It wasn’t like billionaire summer camp, but we splurged on an appetizer…at a restaurant…with a waiter—because people like us do things like this. Happy Anniversary, Jerry! <3 Cheers to the next 28!