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2020 Reflections + Looking Forward

Nancy of Nancy Lane Interiors photographed by Madeline Harper Photography

2020...what a year. If you had told me last January that we'd spend most of the year hunkered down at home and wearing masks whenever we ventured out, I'd have shaken your shoulders and said wake up, you must be dreaming. While I'm an introvert who loves nothing better than staying at home, I hate what all this staying at home is doing to people - to careers and businesses, to our children...mine and everyone else's. But I also know that what we're doing as individuals and families, by staying home, by using masks, even the smallest thing like taking only what you need at the grocery store rather than hoarding toilet paper and Lysol (ironic and funny but not so much really)...all these little things add up to a lot.

Thinking back to March, it feels like a lifetime ago. I remember the absolute cloud that descended on the world. At the time, I selfishly wished that my husband did not have to go to work during shutdown, or rather that he could have worked from home like so many others I know. He's in the medical field and I just remember in the early days of quarantine, standing on the porch watching him leave every day, pissed at the world (anger rooted in fear) that he was leaving our bubble but super proud that he was willing to. People would walk by with their dogs, looking at him get in his car with these quizzical looks on their faces like where is he going? Literally no one was going anywhere at the time. In my head I'd answer them help save the world. Thank God for people like him.

We came up with a routine in the beginning, one we followed when he would leave for work and then when arrived back home. While there is still so much scientists don't know about this virus, I will say we are still careful but not on a hazmat level like in the early days of spring. Back then, we would pack a bag of new clothes and shoes for him to change into before he left work to come home. Shoes worn in the hospital were left in his office. For a while, I called his car the covidmobile and would wipe it down routinely. He would bring his stuff home in a double bag, disrobe outside in our back garden (I'm sure our neighbors found that....interesting) before coming in and taking another shower. We were afraid of him bringing it home, and the rest of us getting it. We updated our wills and made plans for the worst. I was worried about him getting ill and then me...and how that might affect our kids. When we worry, the two of us, we make plans and boy, did we make plans and then plans for plans. #betterbeprepared

On the home front, I admit I may have not been completely onboard when I assumed the role of {home} school principal when my kids began virtual learning from home. About three days into virtual school, I called a school assembly meeting for my new students to discuss how we were going to get along...because it was not going so well on a noise and data usage level. It didn't take long after that for us to get into sync and find our rhythm and we've been pretty much smooth sailing since April. Looking back I cannot begin to tell you how thankful I am for this extra time we got to spend together over the past nine months. Our youngest started back in person school in October and I was dreadfully sad but I know he was happy to go and that he, like so many other young people, NEEDED to go to school in person.

New studio space of Houston interior design firm Nancy Lane Interiors

On the business front, like so many others, work came to a complete stop and honestly it went from the best quarter ever for my business to the worst. We coincidentally wrapped up two big projects the same week that the first shutdown happened and continued to work virtually with clients if possible. For some clients, we made a mutual decision to push pause on projects.

Always one to look to make lemonade when handed lemons, I actually appreciated the down time that allowed me to work on the back end of my business. We had been working on updating our new website with IDCO Studio and that went live in late March. New branding by EM Branding soon followed. Just like my clients when they hire me, I knew I needed and wanted expert guidance when it came to interpreting me and my business so it was a #smartbusinessowner move to hire these spectacular women-owned businesses to translate Nancy Lane Interiors onto our social media platforms.

From there we took it one step further and upgraded the mechanisms for our client experience process. From the initial outreach to onboarding to design concept and installation and final wrap up, we have a process for everything. It has given us more time to do what we love, design!. While client projects were on hold, once the shutdown lifted, I moved ahead with design projects in my own home (two bathrooms and a kitchen) as well as in our new studio space. I'm so appreciative of the downtime I cannot even begin to tell you.

Now as we close the year, if you had told me when all this Covid stuff started that I would spend the last part of the year undergoing scans and worried about another c word...C-A-N-C-E-R, I would say, of course, its 2020 after all, that sounds about right. Thankfully the biopsy came back benign (we'll do another scan in six months and follow up as necessary) but man what a scare. Just know that if this year has thrown you for a loop, I am with you and I am giving you a big virtual hug - WE MADE IT Y'ALL. Cheers to the promise of a new year!


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