In a pandemic your support systems determine your level of “struggle”

Every week at Seer we ask people 1 question:
What are you most proud of accomplishing last week.

We implemented this for 3 reasons:

  • As a company gets bigger it gets harder for us to stay on top of the great things people do.
  • It gives everyone’s work equal opportunity to have their work seen.
  • Culturally it serves as a reminder that we WANT you share your successes. IMHO: Too many people don’t share wins b/c they don’t want to look like they are bragging.

I’m a pretty positive guy, and throughout this pandemic and the roller coaster of emotions have been there but I’ve always been pretty positive throughout — never fully realizing that it was the support system around me that helped me deal with the pandemic with a good attitude, energy, etc. Wife, grandparents, nanny, work is 3 blocks away, amazing leadership team, calendar flexibility, etc. I always realize it to some extent because I focus on gratitude, but I found out just how much that support system has been getting me through when my kid got a positive test.

Last week I filled this out for what I accomplished to the team, I recognized man do I have a lot of privileges…

Team,

It’s what I didn’t accomplish. :)

Last week I was proud of the team we have assembled to help me run this business.
Had a COVID case hit my family and I was able to accomplish NOTHING, because so many people stepped up for me.

Last week I am thankful for my ability to gain perspective and look for the value in all situations.

My 6 YO got COVID, so I got to feel that worry that so many people have had throughout this pandemic.

Masked up indoors, windows open, 100 degrees, it was a fun week.

Then because my wife and younger son were negative they left the house, leaving me to be solo with my COVID positive son, Rio. I recognized a lot of privilege I have. My nanny had to stay away too, so I was solo, no wife, no support system, no grandparents.

It caused me to reflect a lot of single parents (and heck even 2 parent households where both parents have busy jobs) are like this, and while I was only 6 days or so, I felt the drain. It was helpful to feel that and I hope make me a more empathetic leader.

Perspective #1: Working with kids, from home during a pandemic
I tried my best to be available for work, but I failed time and time again to be as available as I thought. I didn’t want my kid watching TV all day so found myself playing a little bit during the day — many nights working from 8pm-12am (or beyond) just to try to get people the answers they needed so they could do their jobs. This is tough and what a LOT of our teammates have gone through. When I played with my son , I found myself feeling guilty that I wasn’t getting people answers they could use, felt like I was always behind.

#2: This house is a MESS, but I can’t find time to clean it
From the time I founded Seer I knew working from home didn’t fit my work style. But being forced to for a week+ helped me feel what it felt like to not only not have time during the day to manage my kid and work, but also I had to SEE the mess my house was becoming. At work I can separate my spaces and I have always been appreciative of that, but having to see my house a mess several times a day, but not getting to cleaning it until the wee hours helped me gain more understanding of how seeing the mess of your house hour after hour and know you can’t get to it is DRAINING. You feel a bit like a failure like “how can I not get to these basic housekeeping tasks?”.

I did try to make my bed every morning, and largely did that as my “I am going to at least start this day off right” approach.

#3 Having an awesome nanny + private school is a major stress relief
Anyone who ever asked me how I’m doing — you always get real answers with me, and I’ve largely recognized that I’ve “been really good” almost every day b/c I have an amazing support system.

My kid was able to be in school almost the whole time during the pandemic and our nanny managed the school drop offs and even when school shut down for 2 weeks, she managed most of the zoom class work and balance that enabled me to be super present for you all, my teammates which helped us as a company get through. Last week if you aske me how I was doing, you would have heard me happy that my kid didn’t have symptoms, but I was BEAT the eff up after only 1 week.

#4 — Air conditioning is awesome
So I kept all our windows open to maximize ventilation and some days it felt like 104 degrees. Reminded me that a lot of people going through the same thing I am throughout my city don’t have AC, yet they gotta work, manage kids with covid, and all the other stuff too. Having those windows open all week, zapped my energy — I would sit around the house just sweating — by the time I got to put my kid down to start work, I was ZAPPED my shirt was sweat soaked and I realized all that sweating took even more energy outta me.

I’m grateful for the people we work with and for the experience as I think it will make me a better leader and a more empathetic human. So I took some good even out of my kid getting Covid, thankfully he is safe and sound now and my kids are back together, playing and by playing I mean…being annoying and fighting — I’ll take it. :)

We made it through

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Wil Reynolds

Wil Reynolds

Serial Underdog @seerinteractive doing SEO, Marketing, & Stuff, I am whatever you say I am.