Reflections After a Year

We asked our team some questions to reflect over the past 12 months. Here's what they had to say!


It's been almost a year since we all started officially working from home because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead of just letting the inevitable march of time continue without remarking on the matter, we thought we'd take the opportunity to ask our team some questions to reflect over the past 12 months.From talking about our workspaces to learning more about our closest companions to thinking about what has changed about ourselves since a year ago — the subjects we cover just start to scratch the surface of the kinds of topics you might consider in an attempt to process life over the past year. Consider it a primer for deeper reflections, hopefully reflections that ultimately enrich our lives with a bit more understanding, acknowledgement, healing, and even some much needed levity. For now, we hope you enjoy this collection of reflections from our team in our little pocket of the world and the internet.

Question 1

What do you like most about your workspace setup in your home? Has it evolved at all over the past year? Any particular trials or successes along the way?

  • For the first nine months, I didn't sit at a proper desk or in a proper chair intended for 8 straight hours of sitting. That was the form my pandemic denial took. Now I have a real desk and a real chair, but the chronic back pain will always serve as a reminder of the good times.

  • I love my workspace because of the light, the view and my kitty companion. I also really love my sit/stand desk and large monitor. I’ve always been remote, so it hasn’t changed much. But I really enjoy that first cup of coffee and watching the morning light.

  • Johnny Cash's "I've Been Everywhere" comes to mind when I think of all the places I've worked in my house over the past year! We had family stay with us for a while to help watch my son (which was a huge gift), and around that time I spent a lot of time working from my closet. That was a high and a low. It was nice and quiet, but the floor was bad for my back. Now that we're a year in, I've finally settled into the perfect little nook on the third floor with windows overlooking the backyard. I love the light and having a view. Even though I sit at a computer most of the day and am socially distanced, I still get to feel a little more in touch with nature and society as I observe the changing weather and occasionally get nosy about my neighbors' whereabouts.

  • I love that I can shift from room to room depending on the mood. Lately, I've been working in my dining room because of all the natural light it gets.

  • I like that my work space is bright in a designated room. It took three tries in three different spaces in my home to finally get a workable space. Having the office chair made a difference and being in a well lit area makes a difference. I face the window on the second floor in a small room which has a desk, chair, table, printer and shredder.

  • Initially I struggled with my workspace setup after transitioning to working from home full time. For me there was a strong desire to separate "work" from "personal" time and activities. At first I only worked from my computer desk in my office, but found I was quickly tiring of being in a small isolated room with only one small window for the majority of the daylight hours. Eventually I began to work from my dining room table, which sits next to my French window and afforded me a much more pleasing aesthetic to work in. Finally I found myself working from all rooms in my house, depending on what I felt like. Some days it was my office for intense, focused work without interruptions or distractions. Others were at the dining room table to give me opportunities to just daydream out the window on occasion to refresh my brain, and also in my living room where I could just throw a movie on and have that play as idle background noise to break up the monotony of the keyboard clicking away, or take two minutes to strum on my guitar to stretch my fingers and unwind a little. So, by integrating my work space into my entire home I've managed to also reverse the relationship, integrating my home (and therefore my hobbies, passions, and interests) into my work space, making it far less stressful than I initially expected, and finding it overall easier to respect my personal boundaries of work and play.

  • I enjoy being able to see my kids and wife during the day. It can be distracting for sure, but it has also been a good reminder that we work so that we can enjoy life. You didn't ask this, but I do not enjoy that my desk is on the other side of the wall from the kids' bathroom. No idea how many people have heard toilets flush on zoom calls.

  • I reorganized my actual desktop so that my monitor is directly in the middle and no longer sits to the left. I had not realized how much it was blocking the music from the left speaker — and now it’s like my head is floating inside a true stereo image.

  • My wife and I moved to the dining room and kitchen nook and out of the upstairs office so that we could join forces to keep the kids safe, fed, educated, and entertained.

  • I like that it's quiet so I can get work done. I have also added guinea pigs to my environment this last year :)

  • What I like most: the commute. By workspace, I guess you are referring to my kitchen table or the sewing machine table that I occasionally sit at in my bedroom. I don't think my spaces have evolved at all, but I think I have perhaps become a bit smarter in recognizing when I need to move locations, put on headphones, etc. in order to mitigate distractions or motivate myself.

  • I really enjoy working from my sunroom (when it's sunny and a bit warmer). I finally bought a desk for my office and even though it's small and crappy it makes it feel less like home and more like a "work zone." I like the switch up from a sort of windowless office, I must say.

  • I'm a creature of habit, so nothing much has changed. The best thing about my workspace is that when the weather is nice, I can sometimes see clusters of deer outside, which gives me the opportunity to try to quietly run outside to throw them apples to eat!

  • I work in a room with a lot of windows and light, so I love that I can see the day progress by watching the shadows on my desk. Since I've always worked from home, there haven't been a lot of COVID-specific changes to my setup, but I have been working my way through a series of impractical chairs in the hope that I'll find the right one to keep at my desk.

Question 2

What's something interesting you've learned about a family member, housemate or yourself amid all of the quality time at home?

  • Saying, "I need to be on this call," is a sure fire way to start a conversation with a family member or kid during said call.

  • My step-cat Zy does precisely the thing that I always suspected he does but could never prove. He sleeps all day, wakes up confused and howls for a bit, then goes back to sleep and repeats the cycle.

  • Our daughter is very outgoing and eagerly participates in (virtual) classroom discussions. Neither my wife nor I know where she gets this from.

  • Now, I actually like working at home and I like the fact that I can now do my work in any location. Not that I could not before, it's just I see the concept differently in a positive manner.

  • As a highly introverted person, I've really missed social interaction. I feel like I've fully settled into this new lifestyle, but then every time I see a person I'm like "Hey! Hi! Hello! Want to be my friend?" and then I find that I've forgotten how to have a normal conversation. I don't know what to do with this strange extroverted energy.

  • I already knew this, but my husband is amazing with my son all day. He is so patient and kind. I’m glad I can sometimes step in and help if things get hairy or he needs to run to the pharmacy.

  • I've learned that I'm way more of a homebody than I ever thought I was, especially during the winter when it's cold, gray and windy!

  • I have learned countless things about my daughter in the past year (in the past two months) which may never have happened without the lock-down. Perhaps the most wonderful thing I've gotten to watch over the past year is her growing into her sense of humor. She has been doing exceedingly well at school and has such discipline which far outperforms all my years of education, and conducts herself so well by listening attentively to her teacher, communicating clearly and concisely with her, following through on her work and assignments, and learning more than just what is taught. But she has tempered this discipline amazingly with the most cheeky disposition towards my wife and me. She is always looking to push boundaries in ways which are genuinely funny for all, and instantly takes responsibility when she crosses the line of disrespect or bad taste and apologizes, but at no point does she lose sight of her desire to fill our house with laughter, her favorite type of laughter seeming to be that guilty stifled laughter when you know you shouldn't smile but cannot help yourself because it was just too funny.

  • I learned that I was pretty much always on the go before this pandemic hit. It was rough to feel confined to this house for so long, but over time I've started to sort of enjoy my alone time instead of feeling lonely. Maybe I'm a tad more introverted than I thought but never really allowed myself to be? 

  • In a pinch, eating cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is totally fine.

  • Given a computer for virtual learning, and an inch of space, my children will undoubtably abuse their newfound freedoms.

  • I've learned that I really need some alone time. With everyone at home all the time it can get overwhelming so I need to take that time to recharge.

  • My dog farts a lot more than I thought.

Question 3

What's one thing that's different about you today compared to a little over a year ago? It could be a change in your interests, eating habits, values, wardrobe, behaviors, etc. (and it could be related to the pandemic or not!).

  • I have a wonderful new job!

  • My hair is much longer than it ever has been, and I've inexplicably started to enjoy jazz fusion of the '80s and early-'90s. I guess I've become an even bigger dork than I was before...

  • New house, newly engaged. For me, this has been the pandemic of big life-altering decisions.

  • These days I put in a lot more effort to enjoy my hobbies and pastimes. I've always enjoyed pushing myself with work, but it always left me burnt out for my own interests (this was especially true when I worked in restaurants). Over the past year, in direct relation to how I integrated work into my home I took the opportunity to be more diligent about enjoying my personal pursuits. As a result I've been delighted to observe measurable improvement in my guitar playing, drone flying, and video game coding practices (I know, I know, code for work and code for fun? What gives?).

  • I wear the same button up only for meetings for weeks at a time (I wash it but like the fact it makes every zoom feel like we're in a simulation).

  • I only wear soft pants and sports bras. I eat healthier for sure. More time cooking and less time eating out. I value my dog so much. Even more than I did when I got her, which I didn't think could be possible. I have no idea how I would have gotten through this time without her! I have also expanded my musical horizons. While I miss live music probably more than anything (is that sad? haha) I've taken some time over the past year to listen to all different types of music and even dip back into my old skool R&B roots.

  • Hmmm, regrettably I think I’m the same person.

  • Without unfettered access to the fully stocked snack kitchen at 404 East Grace over the past year, I’ve lost weight. In the past, when working from the office, I shaved nearly every day. Now, that is less frequent.

  • I've had to let go of being a planner in my personal life and embrace when unexpected changes come up. And sweatpants, I've embraced those too!

  • I'm more forward thinking about work, my work space and location.

  • I’ve been doing more baking, mostly because it’s something my son and I can do together. Also I’ve been doing yoga at home every day. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes. It’s always a struggle to do it, but I always feel better after.

  • My devotion to loose, stretchy pants has started to border on religion. They are a part of my identity now. I am stretchy pants, and stretchy pants are me. What else can I say? I just happen to find very few reasons to wear any other kind of pants these days, so now all of my restrictive or tight pants are in my closet. Also in my closet? This thing called a purse that I used to use. N

    ow on the few occasions I go anywhere and need to take a collection of my belongings, I use a canvas tote bag. I don't know when or why I started using this bag instead of a "purse," but it was free and says "a century of style" on it, which is funny because I'm not even trying to be ironic.

  • I've started channeling a lot of pent up energy into dancing. My husband and I (okay, it's mostly me) have been on a French electronic kick and it's been pretty fun to break it down in the kitchen in the evenings. I'm a terrible dancer and a year at home hasn't made me any better, but it's been a lot of fun.

Great things start with a conversation

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