A gathering like no other

These are different days. I know, “Tell me something I don’t know.” In a world turned upside down by a type of virus that scientists are still trying to wrap their minds around, the rest of us are left social distancing ourselves and Zooming into new world experiences.

From the jump, our worlds have been thrown into utter and unfathomable chaos. How many of you have had friends say, “Well, what’s next, an alien invasion?” Yes, that was a real question from a friend, who, while only joking, admitted to watching reruns of the “X Files” just in case.

Whether you can find any sense of sanity in all of this, know this: We are a resilient bunch. Amid the alarm, the confusion and the “why-is-this-happening-to-us” rhetoric, we continue to find ways to cope. We push forward even though we do not know what we are thrusting ourselves in to.

If you are a “glass-is-half-full kind of person,” you know that when this is all said and done (and we do have many more miles to travel till then), you will be better because of what you experienced.

And while we could benefit from a more unified, systematic approach to dealing with this as one voice, it is what it is (forgive me, I am as tired of that saying as you are).

My first foray into this uncharted new world was every bit as odd as you would expect. In a vineyard, miles and miles away from any metropolitan area, surrounded by the grace and beauty of the mountains that blanketed the skyline, I stood on my socially distanced mark and watched as people tried to make do. Some wore masks. Some did not. Some sat in appropriately allotted table assignments, while others sat as couples. All of them tried to make the most of the situation.

It was a different kind of gathering—our reality for the foreseeable future.

As I took in the moment, it hit me: We have two choices—We do or we don’t. The scores of people I talk to every day are doers. They continue to find new ways to do the things that once seemed so simple. GMs. Subcontractors. Designers. Architects. Facility managers.

If you are a “glass-is-half-full kind of person,” you know that when this is all said and done (and there are many more miles to travel till then), you will be better off because of what you have experienced.

We live. We win. We fail. We learn. There is not one person I know who does not believe that is the way the game is played.

To better days ahead…


Michael J. Pallerino is the editor of Commercial Construction & Renovation magazine. Over the past 30-plus years, he has won numerous awards, including the “Jesse H. Neal Editorial Achievement Award,” recognized as the Pulitzer Prize for business-to-business magazines. He can be reached at mikep@ccr-mag.com.

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