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June 9, 2021By Jeff Michaels

What I Did On My Pandemic Vacation

pandemic vacation

I didn’t get Covid-19. That was pretty much my only goal back in March of 2020, when the world stopped on its axis for what was supposed to be a two-week lockdown, and ultimately turned into a nearly two-year apocalypse.

Well, it was what it was. Hopefully we never have to deal with that again in our lifetimes, although given the number of bats and monkeys and disease-carrying animals in the world in close proximity to people who eat them, chances are we might. Yet, the question remains, did we use our pandemic time wisely?

Will history show that despite the chaos and the sadness, for many this was the greatest times of our lives? And did we recognize it as such?

I’d like to think I did.

I will share, things started off rocky back in March of 2020. Along with the news of the global pandemic, the startup company I worked at decided that was a good month to fold their operations and layoff 60% of their workforce, myself included. I thankfully managed to find another job within a few weeks, living the remote dream life of interviewing and working completely via video. For a solid year I, like most of my non-essential worker colleagues adapted to Zoom and Teams calls, and chatted with our plants and dogs instead of actual people in the breakroom.

Truth is, I kinda loved it.

As a writer, working remotely is pretty much the gig. Sure, I love writing at my favorite coffee shops, and I was formidably upset when they closed their doors during the lockdown, but I managed. Working day jobs has always been another story. At every job I’ve ever held I came up with every excuse under the sun to work from home, and even wrote about it in my last book, Please Hug Me–I’m an Office Monkey. Working From Home, or WFH–which in reality means Watching Full House because watching reruns of sitcoms is what everyone does during the day just makes sense. No commute. No spending half your paycheck on Starbucks and lunch. No having to replace the copier paper because some inconsiderate dolt left it empty. No dealing with anything other than making sure the wifi bill was paid.

After a solid year of working entirely remote, I have no plans to ever again enter an office full-time. Many people miss the people… as a writer, I have an advantage. I don’t need people to fill my day. I need free time, and I need characters in my head. Turns out, the pandemic provided me with both.

So what was I able to accomplish, Mr. He’s-So-Effiecient? Well, let’s see. In the past year, I managed to:

  • Write a forth-coming auto-biography
  • Write a children’s book
  • Finish my manuscript for my upcoming Christmas book I’ve been working on for five years
  • Get back to work on my novel
  • Produce three music videos
  • Write a new album
  • And a slew of other projects I hope to see published soon

On top of all this, we bought (and completely renovated) a brand new house, and spent invaluable time with our little guy, who really got used to having mama and dada around full-time. Was it a challenge? You bet. Were there a lot of tears? Of corse. Do I occasionally long for the old ways of my sixty-hour work week and coming home to our nanny who was just about to put our baby to bed?

Actually, not really.

The pandemic was gruesome, no doubt. And for those who got sick and or knew someone who passed away from the virus, it was literally the worst thing imaginable. Yet, for those of us who were lucky enough to be able to simply follow the rules (literally, all we had to do was wear a mask and stay inside and we were guaranteed to survive), we were blessed with the opportunity to do pretty much whatever we chose, for months on end. I chose to use my time to be with our growing toddler, and put in as many hours as possible writing and creating those art forms where I had started projects, but never finished.

So, I’ll ask again: did you use your pandemic time wisely?

I hope so.

We’re all certainly looking forward to life getting back to normal, but let’s hope that new normal includes focusing on the things we learned were truly important during these bizarre times. Namely, spending time with family, and the joy of taking forty-five minute showers to escape that very same family.


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