I always thought my marriage had been good, but the pandemic strengthened it. Life is too short to spend it on an airplane or in a car traveling to a meeting that may or may not be beneficial. Earning a living is important, but chasing every last dollar is no longer as meaningful as it once was.
Below is my commitment to my employees, my industry and to my family:
Participate in meaningful tradeshows, only. A strong LightFair, LEDucation and IES Annual Conference are very helpful for our industry, and we need those shows in person and I am personally excited about the new ArchLight Summit. However, I am no longer going to go to every show or conference just because it is being held.
Online Education will be my first choice. Prior to the pandemic, I would never dream of learning from my computer. Online education has come a long way, and I have participated in some great online training that was very professional and meaningful. For the most part I am doing it on my schedule and in small doses that fit well with my ADHD.
In-person meetings. I am an old-school, people person. I want to shake someone’s hand, look him in the eye, and size up his or her character (usually in the first 10 seconds.) A perfect example of my new thinking is that I am establishing a friendship with one of the brightest people in lighting, Sam Koerbel, the founder of Lytei. Sam and I have never met in person, but I have watched many of his videos and now feel like I know him well because of Zoom. Although we have never shaken hands and I have not looked him in the eye personally, I have developed great respect and admiration for him and that would not have happened prior to the pandemic.
Networking online. This is totally foreign to me, but I am warming to the idea. The IES Past President’s traditionally get together at the Annual Conference for lunch and cocktails. Dan Salinas scheduled a Zoom call for us and it was wonderful, and we had about double the rate of participation that we typically have for in-person meetings.
If we leave the pandemic stronger than when we entered, and if it makes us better people, more considerate, more patient, and more forgiving, then perhaps COVID-19 was the wakeup call our society needed.
What will you do differently in 2021? Send your ideas to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared in the December 2020 issue of designing lighting.