Inspiration – a feeling of enthusiasm you get to spark new and creative ideas – comes in all shapes and forms, and differs for each individual, based on their personality, profession, hobbies, and interests. As a team of creative professionals, we each find inspiration in unique ways. Here’s a story of inspiration from Taylor Perry, FUEL senior developer.
Each month that goes by, it gets harder to remember what life was like before March 2020 when schools, offices, and nearly everything else closed. In the “before” times, parts of my identity were almost defined by the clock. 8:00 a.m. – The Mom would drop the kid off at school. 8:30 a.m. – The Developer would walk into the office ready to solve problems, code, think creatively, and be a part of the awesome FUEL team.
Inspiration came from a solo drive to work listening to the music that I like, interacting and collaborating with coworkers around a table, stepping out of the office at lunch to take a long walk around downtown. At the end of the day, I’d feel accomplished in my career and the skills I’ve worked hard to gain as The Developer and feel empowered to commute back into life as The Mom.
These days, working from home with a virtual-school first grader at home, I sometimes feel like The Mom Zombie Developer Pet-Sitter Assistant-Teacher Lunch-Lady doing all the things, all at once, and it’s all a blur. How can I have the time or the energy for inspiration when all I am trying to do is get through each day? I had to think really hard (like, really really hard) to realize that I do still have inspiration, but it has changed… just like everything else.
First, I’m inspired by other working moms who are struggling through life in a pandemic. It’s heartbreaking to realize that many are in much more dire and desperate circumstances than I am. However, it is of some comfort knowing that so many mamas out there have been going through similar thoughts, worries, and grief while still being supportive of each other and still doing what they need to do for themselves and their families. Not that life “before” was always easy, but how could any of us have prepared for what the last year would put us through? But here we are, wherever we are, making our way the best we can with our little ones.
I’m inspired by my coworkers and FUEL leadership who have been so understanding of my need to step away from the computer during the day sometimes and tolerant of getting notifications from me when I’m catching up later in the evening. Having a child dancing behind my back during a Zoom meeting just doesn’t phase them anymore, and I respect that.
I’m inspired by my daughter and my husband. Missing out on in-person activities and new experiences at school. Working in a hospital during a pandemic. We each have faced our own stress and frustration, but every day, I know that they are there for me and each other. Doing fun things together in our free time like paddling around on our kayak, camping, or snuggling up for a movie night is crucial in keeping myself refreshed and ready to get back to my job at FUEL.
Also, I think I am actually inspired by all of the unexpected changes we’ve had. When places closed and plans were cancelled, there were still so many good things to come out of it for me and our daily lives. Both The Developer and The Mom have always been me, all of the time, and now my daughter has gotten to see that each day here at home. Maybe that will inspire her sometime.