Focusing on Gratitude: A Team TLC Reflection During Social Distancing

 In Office Updates, TLC Team

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all in incredibly different and similar ways.

Abiding by social distancing and quarantine guidelines has become a shared experience—something that brings us together, while we’re apart.

In the spirit of spreading positivity during this trying time in the world, the team at Teneo Linguistics Company wants to share with you what we’re grateful for during this time.

HEATHER HEMER, KEY ACCOUNT MANAGER

Taking a moment to take stock of the positive during this categorically negative moment in my lifetime, my overwhelming gratitude is empathy.

Care… support… protect… are words that are increasingly present in the virtual vernacular. Without empathy, “flattening the curve,” “social distancing,” and other buzz words would be just that. Words.

The world has seemingly become more empathetic to cause and effect. More individuals than ever before are taking care in their actions and developing precautions to protect their loved ones and strangers around them. It truly is a beautiful thing.

However, my cats have grown increasingly more apathetic. They can’t wait for me to go back to the office and stop telling them how cute they are.

ALISON HEAD, GRAPHIC DESIGNER

As I think about gratitude during this challenging time of pandemic and social distancing, my family immediately comes to mind.

While living 24/7 with two tweens and a husband certainly has its frustrations, I am so impressed with my children’s ability to adapt to online learning, FaceTime chats with friends and family, and learning to compromise and share common spaces.

We’ve enjoyed evening dog-walks together as a family, bike rides, and board games.

Spending this time sheltering in place has emphasized how lucky I am to share my life and my home with fun, warmhearted people … even if I do have to remind them 10 times a day to pick up after themselves!

SONJA SCHERLING, PROJECT MANAGER

COVID-19 has definitely changed our lives. All of us around the globe are living situations totally unthought of only two months back. We’ve naturalized scenes that appear to be out of futuristic movies, but instead of turning off the screen and returning to our beautiful “normal” lives, we suddenly find the track is on “Repeat” over and over, and we are trapped in this unrealistic cycle.

Besides the obvious feelings of chaos, frustration, and sadness, this new scenario has also brought some good things with it.

To me, family union is one of them, going back to the basics, playing forgotten board games, cooking together, looking over old photos, simply chatting. There is a strong, comforting feeling of union, that we are in this together.

On the work side of things, I’ve been the “remote” gal in the team for a while now. My morning meetings went from conversing with the team sitting around a conference table, to all of the team meeting remotely.

We are suddenly all sharing what it means to be remote, the tricks and tips, the insights into what working virtually actually implies. In this sense, the current situation has been very rewarding. We all know the weaknesses but also that it can be done.

There is relief, there is gratitude, there is a different kind of happiness. We are still a team, a united group of people that continues to move forward in spite of it all.

Go team, go TLC!

SHARON WEST, COMPLIANCE OFFICER

The last eight weeks have been an amazing time; I think “surreal” describes it for many of us.

I feel so fortunate that in my little corner of the world, where I’m semi-retired and working mostly from home already, the changes in my day-to-day life have been minimal.

What has changed, for which I am very grateful and somewhat surprised to realize, is that I feel a deeper appreciation of and connection to others. For me, suddenly not being able to get up and go—to spend time with family and friends at will, to browse the bookstore (a favorite pastime) —has been an awakening. An awakening to the Importance of connection and the feeling of belonging.

Joining the morning Zoom meeting with work colleagues I feel so much more the sense of being part of a team, of collaboration; moving our weekly in-person prayer group session to the virtual world has created a cozier space for sharing; and Zooming lunch together with friends after live streaming our Sunday church services has been an unexpectedly fun, and fulfilling experience.

My oldest nephew, literally a rocket scientist, working in the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, CA, last week invited his parents and younger brother in Austin, TX, uncle and aunt in Seattle, WA, and me (in Crowley, TX) to a Zoom chat that was a source of wonderful re-connection, and a seriously good time! The visual component, seeing everyone “together”, seems to be key to this feeling of connection.

I now realize how much I value this closeness, this sense of belonging, these connections, not just with family, but also friends, acquaintances, and my work family.

Our global village is dealing with a dangerous new virus, and it is a scary time in many ways. It is also a rich opportunity for good to emerge, sometimes in unexpected ways and places. I, myself, feel blessed.

ALLISON SHIPMAN, MARKETING MANAGER

Social distancing has given me a different perspective of what’s important in my life, and I am immensely grateful for that.

Like so many others, I had a difficult time adjusting to being apart from friends and family. My pre-pandemic life kept me so busy—I rarely stopped to reflect and appreciate all the blessings in my life.

When social distancing started taking its toll, I knew I needed to find an activity that would foster peace of mind and gratitude in my life.

I started taking daily walks along the beautiful trail near my home and found the peace of mind I was looking for. The trail follows a river teeming with nature that fosters reflection within.

I watch ducklings trailing their mothers across the river’s surface.

I watch egrets navigating carefully through the water before taking off in glorious flight.

I watch sparrows practicing their flight maneuvers over the water, skimming their beaks across the surface for a refreshing sip in between tricks.

Observing and experiencing this abundance of nature clears my mind and allows thoughtful, unhurried self-reflection to flow freely.

I am grateful for all these moments as the world continues to navigate through the chaos of the pandemic. And I look forward to seeing the positive effects of this newfound peace as life gets back to “normal”.

NICK MATTHEWS, PROJECT MANAGER

Over the last month or two, the 24-hour news cycle has somehow become even more constant, a cacophony of doom and gloom. And, though we are collectively grappling with such a serious challenge, as we approach two months of stay-at-home, I’m reflecting on how easy it can be to feel “alone in a crowded room” if we don’t foster the right mindset.

Though work has continued “as normal” for many of us in the language services industry, there’s still extra time carved out from what would otherwise be arduous commutes, shopping trips, coffee outings, and the like.

I’m choosing to use the time to be mindful, and I realize how grateful I am, even in the midst of struggle and upheaval.

I’m grateful for the stability that exists in language services and for the ability to work from home with relative ease that is inherent in the industry.

I’m grateful for the quiet, still moments in the morning that allow me to enjoy a leisurely breakfast instead of a bagel scarfed down in the hustle and bustle of a smoggy highway.

I’m lucky enough to be staying at home with family and have the benefit of face-to-face communication so we can more easily reminisce about how much we miss the grocery store.

I’m grateful for the glimmers of hope in the news, as humanity comes together to meet the challenge we face, for the technology that allows us to meet virtually, and for the community we have, even from afar.

Above all, I’m grateful to contribute in some small way and feel I’m making a difference by facilitating communication during a time when timely, accurate information is more important than ever.

And I’m grateful that my company fosters an attitude of gratitude that will help us all to make it to the light at the end of the tunnel with a smile.

HANA LAURENZO, CEO & OWNER

I put so much on my daily gratitude list these days. The fact that we can so easily work from home, that our business has not been affected as much as others and that we continue to be a source of livelihood and stability for our team.

I am grateful for home projects completed, like the Texas windmill my children bought for me and my husband put together. I am grateful for our furry children and the smiles they put on our faces every day.

We have been going through a training program with two of our three dogs and are on track to have very well-behaved canines by the time the pandemic is over!

I am grateful for the food we are growing in our yard. Our peach and pear trees are looking especially good this year and we have more kale than the local grocery store!

I am grateful for the little things. For spending time with my husband. The birds singing in the garden; seeing so many of our neighbors out, working in their yards and exercising. The smell of fresh-baked bread. A good night’s sleep. Sunshine. And I am grateful for the big things, like my family’s health. I am grateful for it all.

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