I usually start my day with either a kick to the kidneys, whether it be from Wilder or Tilly who sneak in around 4am and prefer sleeping sideways across the bed, or it’s my face being licked furiously by our 9 month old pup George, by either love or a not so subtle hint that he needs to pee and we’re beyond the threshold of sleeping in past 7am.
From there it’s a mad rush of brushing teeth, making sure the kids understand the concept of clean underwear, chocolate chip pancakes, finding shoes that fit, packing lunches they won’t eat, feeding the dogs, and getting to school by 8:45 sharp. There might be a quick coffee or green tea in-between. Never for enjoyment. Just to make the day begin to feel real.
I’ve been commuting from Mequon to Bay View since we’ve moved this past December. Quite a change since our house used to be on the same block as Rev Pop, just a few doors south. It’s hard to imagine just how easy it was to get to work every morning. Another mark on the “took it for granted checklist”. Since March, when COVID hit, I’ve been getting to work between 9-10am. There were a few weeks early on where I’d be in the saddle around 4am due to the lack of sleep and the feeling that I needed to work extra hard in order to keep shit in shape and work through the changes that were hitting us hard at the time. It was depleting not being having a light to see at the end of the tunnel. Just unknowns and defeat. I felt the immediate need to keep things in motion. By doing so, I was doing everything in my power to keep the ship afloat. Even if it meant watching some random tutorial on youtube on how to correctly apply heavy parallel compression and surgically eqiing the shit out of an 80ms delay through an aux channel in Logic Pro. If that doesn’t make sense to you, I don’t suggest falling down that rabbit hole.
It’s a little more relaxed now and although Rev Pop’s not what I thought it would be one year ago, I’ve settled in with the disastrous nature of what it means to run a small business in 2020.
I used to turn on the printer first thing in the morning, as the expectation was that it would be printing all day long. I used to have quick and punctual conversations with individual team members on goals for the day and conversations I’ve had with clients. How do we make today better than the last and become more efficient. I used to look at my calendar and get overwhelmed with the thought of spending half my day talking and the other half somehow switching gears into creative mode and completing projects on time.
It’s a little more relaxed now. It’s been years since I’ve been able to open a new project in the morning and have the entire day to work through the kinks. Around lunch time, I used to grab a quick bite ( usually something I shouldn’t eat ) just to get out of the office and take a quiet moment for myself. Now I eat applesauce and drink celery juice and I might open an audio project I’ve been working on to break my day up with another creative outlet. The days aren’t as hectic as they were 8 months ago. And now that light at the end of the tunnel seems to be flaring back up again. Just not quite the way I thought it would.
I’m still caught off guard when I catch the clock at 3:30 and realize the day’s gone by much too quickly. A good sign that we’re busy and although the workload has decreased since COVID hit, I’m far from bored. It was nice leaving work and walking through the front door of home within a couple minutes, but now I look forward to the long drive home and taking that time to decompress and make a few final phone calls to close out the day.
Home life is different as well. Prior to moving away from Bay View, I was worried about how far away I’d be from the office. It was a luxury to be able to jump out of the house, pajama shorts and all, and crank out a few projects if I was having trouble sleeping. Now that I’m 25 minutes away, it’s a fortunate burden. On a typical day, I’ll drink wine with Carrie on the porch and talk about our day and the kids time at school. We’ll have a walk with the dogs down the quiet wooded streets in what often feels like “up north”. Making dinner and playing games around the table before we pack it all up and get the kids in bed. Then it’s Netflix or Hulu, we’ll see if we can get some sleep.
Days like today are common. I woke up at 3:30am and I sneak downstairs for an almond chocolate milk and write outside on the porch. Sometime’s until dawn. Then I get back to bed for an hour before the day begins again.
It’s outrageously mind blowing how every year brings a new set of routines and adjustments to our day to day. I’m making the best of all the weird shit that’s happened this year and I’m grateful for everything and everyone I still have. Maybe 2021 will be different. So be it. Bring it on.