One year ago today at my last in-person speaking engagement. We knew about the coronavirus then, but we didn’t know how bad it would be.

I was handing out antibacterial wipes to audience members, and we thought we would be going virtual for two weeks. Ha.

Here we are a year later in still in the midst of a once in a century global health crisis that has claimed half a million lives and counting, and dramatically shifted the way we live and work.

I personally have been completely changed by this experience. I am an extroverted extrovert. The pandemic forced me to stay home and become okay with being by myself or with my small “pod” and family. I had to find new things to do and ways to entertain myself. I wrote more. I read more. I cooked more. I reconnected virtually with friends.

I also used social media more. I know that seems odd coming from someone who does social media for a living. But I reconnected with people and built stronger relationships and did many programs online. And while it wasn’t the same as speaking in person, it was the next best thing.

I really did not know how to use Zoom prior to pandemic, and we all learned as we went along. I, along with many people, relied way too much on the phone and email prior to the pandemic.

If you were never a believer in social media, I hope you are now. It is here to stay as are virtual meetings.

I slowed down from the hustle and bustle of life in NYC, and it was wonderful.

The early days of the pandemic gave me the opportunity to heal from a relationship that had ended abruptly and take stock of what I really wanted in and from my life. I am forever grateful for this time and the clarity it provided.

One of the worst things that happened during the pandemic was that my beloved dog Charlie passed away. I was so upset when it happened, but it was also his time. I saw it as an opportunity to spend time with close friends and family in my pod and time to start a new chapter of my life.

I took action on the things that weren’t working and moved out of the temporary apartment I had gotten when my ex and I had split up. I found my dream home in the middle of the pandemic when many people were fleeing NYC. I made it into a home after a year of living in a place that felt nothing like one.

After a couple of months I decided I was ready to get another puppy and I welcomed Lucy into my life. It was such a great decision, and I’m very glad I did not wait long to get her.

A few months after that I had an opportunity to get another puppy, and I did despite what my family and friends said. I was working from home and I thought it would be a really great thing for both Lucy and me. And it was.

I can’t imagine life without two dogs now. They bring so much joy into my life, especially since I don’t have children. I’m very thankful to have them during this isolating period.

I can’t wait to get back to some semblance of “normal” but I’m always thinking about all of the lives lost to Covid and all of the jobs and businesses lost due to the pandemic.

We will look back on this as a unique year but also hopefully one in which we all grew a lot. Change is sometimes a good thing and there’s always a way to find good in the bad.