All around us folks are settling into something like life as we knew it before pandemic precautions prompted a pause. Friends recall early hours for seniors at the super market, just a couple of years ago. Families with children got an unexpected experience with remote learning and even home schooling. Here among The Shops at Sea Pines Center, our restaurants devised ways to offer curbside service, and some installed new ways of ordering online.
What does remain is a lot of re-thinking about how we engage with the world. A few of the ways we responded to those unusual times turned into improvements we keep. Yet far more of them are moderating instead, having gained a new appreciation for the value of getting together.
Returning Face to Face
Between 2019 and 2021 the number of people who work primarily from home tripled, and last year, 26% of American workers were still in that practice. Even though 40% of people believe they are more productive working from home – and studies suggest they do save an hour a day on average and devote half that saved time to work – we began to see companies calling the flock back in.
Having seen waves of change in the workplace before make the difference in a business breakthrough will not be given up entirely, now that it has been demonstrated in practice.
More than a Lesson
The value of human contact came up for examination as never before, and instead of speculating how much we gain from getting together, we have had the question live-tested and proven beyond a doubt.
At The Shops at Sea Pines Center, we’ve long observed how the plaza that connects us is a gathering place for neighbors and residents both full-time and seasonal. Many Sea Pines residents consider a stroll through the plaza a kind of living bulletin board for taking the pulse of the resort we call home. Visitors of all kinds, too, seem to gravitate here as a touchstone for discovering what they want to do with their hard-earned time in paradise.
More Fully than Ever
Here’s where we will feel more fully than ever how unique our friendships are – how grateful we are for all kinds of relationships. How fortunate we are to be seen that way and to be the setting for connecting and reconnecting, whether the visit is once a week or once a year. This quiet time gives us the chance to see it more clearly.
A certain gratitude for the everyday is one result of that hitch in our habits. Becoming conscious of all we get from being together turns out to be a lasting blessing from the times we have just come through.
As we turn the corner to spring and see customs such as the Farmers and Makers Market return to the plaza here at The Shops at Sea Pines Center, as we prepare to host once again the Sip and Stroll that kicks off the annual Hilton Head Wine & Food Festival, and as we curate the lineup of works that will exhibit in the plaza when our First Thursdays Art Market takes up again, how grateful we are to be at The Center.