T-SQL Tuesday #132 – Coping With the Global Pandemic – PIVOT

T-SQL Tuesday is a monthly blog party on the second Tuesday of each month. Currently, Steve Jones (Blog|Twitter) organizes the event and maintains a website with all previous posts. Everyone is welcome to participate in this monthly blog post.  Thank you Taiob Ali for this month’s blog topic: ‘How each of us is coping with a global pandemic’.

During this time of a global pandemic, I have tried to take a positive route working my way through life.  It felt like my life was always very busy pre-Covid and I did not have enough time for myself.  But I have been known to make lemonade when life hands me lemons.  Sometimes certain situations that were not pleasant were the push I needed to get moving.  So, when the pandemic hit and things changed, I have kept moving with one motto: pivot. Do you remember the Friends episode when they were moving the couch and Ross kept yelling ‘Pivot.’ I hear his voice in my head when I have to pivot. Saying ‘pivot’ when the situation changes and we need to redo our plans also lightens the mood a little.

The state of Colorado shut down on Friday, March 13, 2020.  I was supposed to be on vacation with friends in Moab, Utah that weekend.  Some of us were going to do an organized bike ride and some of us were going to run a half marathon then do some mountain biking.  The bike ride was postponed until 2021 and the half marathon offered a virtual option so I was able to run the half marathon on my own.  PIVOT On Saturday, March 14, I got out and ran the half marathon in Denver that I had been training for four months to do.  A couple of friends shadowed me along the route, provided water, snacks, pacing, and moral support.  It ended up being on of my favorite half marathons. 

On Tuesday, March 17, I had to go to downtown Denver to close on the sale of my parents house. Normally, St Patrick’s Day brings a lot of people to downtown Denver for all day celebrations.  There are people in the streets wearing green and celebrating. Instead, it was cold, overcast, and there was hardly anyone on the streets.  It was very eerie.  On my drive home, the clouds broke and the sun came out. I knew everything would be ok. 

There are a lot of things I miss that did not happen this year.  For one thing, I was supposed to travel a lot in 2020.  I had more trips planned this year than any year before.  One by one the trips started getting cancelled and tentatively scheduled for 2021.  Now it looks like some may not happen until 2022.  PIVOT Like everything else, we have figured out how to get out of the house and change a negative into a positive.  We changed our idea of travel from ‘we need to fly’ to ‘we can drive’. In July we stayed in a cabin outside of Steamboat, Colorado for a long weekend.  We were able to be outside with friends but be socially distant from other people.  In August, we were supposed to do a bike ride from Seattle to Vancouver. That was cancelled (PIVOT) so we decided to drive to Glacier National Park in Montana for five days instead. It was a long drive for a short stay but totally worth it.  We stayed in a silo that was converted into an apartment.  Our friends brought their camper and parked in the field next to the silo.  We were able to get away from the house, be outside, and be with friends at a distance.  We spent one day biking in Glacier including riding up Going-to-the-Sun Road.  Any other summer, the road would have been too busy for us to enjoy the ride.

No cars on Going-to-the-Sun Road

PASS Summit is happening this week and I was supposed to be in Houston. PIVOT When it was announced that the conference was going virtual, I decided to still get away from the house during the conference. I reserved a condo in Breckenridge, Colorado for the week of PASS Summit. I was going to get away, have no household interruptions, and enjoy the conference. Then on Saturday, I was told my mom was COVID positive. I had just taken her to the doctor on Thursday which meant I was exposed. PIVOT One of the first things I did was cancel my condo reservation. So far I have no symptoms and I can still enjoy the conference, just from home.

There are many things from my pre-Covid life that I do not miss and will work hard so they do not creep back into my routine once we return to a ‘normal’ schedule.  But a big thing that has come out of this is really understanding how important my friends are in my life.  My friends and I have figured out how to get together yet be distant.  It took some adjustments, thinking outside of the box and a few pivots, but we have been creative and successful.  I even had a birthday celebration outside with friends this year.  With winter approaching, we will need to come up with new activities that we can do together while being distant.

This year has been a challenge and I have found that you have to be flexible.  I know people who feel ‘stuck’ because things they had planned to do are not happening. Being flexible and being able to change is important right now. Also, instead of focusing on what I can’t do, I have been trying to focus on what I can do.  I have made changes and tried to work on things that I don’t normally have time to complete because I am too busy with things outside of the house.  For that, I am thankful, but I am ready to get back out and see my friends/co-workers/family and give them all hugs.  I can’t wait to start hugging again!

Build Your Brand Presentation — Aunt Kathi’s SQL Server Home

Tonight I gave my “Build Your Brand with Technical Writing” presentation (slides) to the Triangle SQL Server User Group (Raleigh, NC). I love giving this talk because I typically get one or two people who really want to get started writing ask me for help because of the talk. Writing has been a passion of […]

Build Your Brand Presentation — Aunt Kathi’s SQL Server Home

T-SQL Tuesday #129 – SQL Community Time Capsule

It is time for another T-SQL Tuesday! Thank you Tammy Clark (t|b) for hosting this month. This month we are building a SQL Community Time Capsule.

I am contributing to the SQL Community Time Capsule my experiences from PASS Summit.  There are two parts to PASS Summit.  There is the conference itself and the time spent in Seattle outside of the conference.

PASS Summit is amazing and I love the conference, but some of my favorite experiences have been outside of the conference. Each morning, before the conference starts, and before most people are even awake, I run the streets of downtown Seattle.  It has become one of my favorite places to run.

Some attendees of PASS get together each morning and run at 6:00am.  I have joined the group on some runs.  It is a great place to meet people outside of the conference. 

I don’t run with the group every morning.  My favorite time to run in Seattle is at 5:00am.  Coming from Colorado, running in Seattle is so different.  There is usually a light mist, sometimes a light snow, or if nothing else, there is humidity.  I really love running next to the water.  There are the lights, the smells, and the sounds of Seattle.  It is amazing.  Running through downtown Seattle at 5:00am, you get to see the city wake up.  There are delivery trucks coming and going and not many people.  It is active but in a very different way.

I finish my run a few blocks away from my hotel at Top Pot Doughnuts.  This place is a PASS Summit tradition for many for different reasons.  I like getting there early in the morning and enjoying a fresh donut after my run.

I am going to miss running in downtown Seattle at this year’s PASS Summit. But all is not lost. I have rented a condo in the mountains of Colorado for the week of Summit. I still plan to get out and run at 5:00am. Instead of lights and water, who knows what I will see. All I know is there better be a good donut place nearby!