Masks and Selling – The Struggle is Real


I lived in Sendai, Japan from 1992-1994, working as a conversational English teacher. One of the first things I noticed is that many people wore blue surgical masks as they made their way around the city. Cars were a scarce commodity because of the density of the population, so people took trains, buses and rode their bikes, weather permitting. A respectable percentage of the people I saw in transit donned these masks. At the time, I thought they must be sick…

Fast forward 28 years, those same surgical looking blue masks are a regular sighting in California, as well as a plethora of designer, avant-garde masks in a variety of patterns, shapes and colors. I myself have a collection of masks, one might even call me a mask hoarder. I double mask, with the surgical mask under a colorful cotton mask, I have a visor too, and glasses because, why not?

denim mask
My denim mask

What I realize now, and remember from my time in Japan is that it’s very difficult to understand somebody when they are speaking with a mask on. It’s even more difficult when they are speaking a foreign language, but I digress.


Now, to have a “face to face” meeting with a customer, I almost have to yell to be heard with the mask, and the social distancing, so by the end of the work day, I have a sore throat, a headache, and I do feel a bit exhausted… wait-do I have COVID? 


I also realized, after many foiled attempts, that you cannot drink coffee, water or any other beverage with the mask on-believe me, I’ve tried. Nor can you eat with the mask on – tried that too. I do go out to my car for food, beverage and a “break” every so often, and my car has become a designated safe zone and restaurant.


Witnessing the great traits of human ingenuity and adaptivity, we now have clear masks, so people can read lips, masks with small safety seals for drinking using straws. I’ve seen so many cool masks, who ever thought we’d want to collect these as accessories; a mask for every occasion. I find myself shopping for masks now instead of shoes. 


Speaking of shoes, my ears and face, not unlike my feet with a new pair of shoes, are quite sore after a day with the mask. I can’t wait to get to my car and pull the masks off with the same gusto I have when removing heels after a long day at the Dallas Market. Then there’s Maskne, acne or breakouts from the mask. I haven’t experienced this, but my skin doesn’t love the masks-it’s better with the surgical mask underneath, but still. 

My Trying on Wedding Dresses Mask and my Evacuation Mask

Yes, they are inconvenient, they are indeed a pain. What I find so interesting, however, is that we’ve adapted so quickly, and to such an extent, that we’ve monetized the model and created a whole new cottage industry out of it. I find this to be such a powerful demonstration of hope, ingenuity and adaptivity, I can’t wait to see what we come up with next. 

Tom and I in our masks

Ensconced By Floyd


Yesterday,  I caught up with my good friend and mentor, Martha Graham. She said something very interesting about my house, Floyd, she said that he has “ensconced us and protected us.”


We have been living in Floyd, a 108 year old hunting lodge, while renovating him since Christmas 2019, and 2020 has been a strange year. 


My partner, Tom, was hospitalized at Stanford for what we thought was COVID, but turned out to be an extremely rare autoimmune disease that was suddenly killing his heart. He had a successful heart transplant at Stanford, all the while with me at home, in Floyd, with our cat, Licorice, unable to leave or visit him because of COVID. 


Our neighbors were wonderful, and watched out for me the entire time Tom was at Stanford. I felt safe in Floyd, even though he’s a bit of a renovation wreck. Even so, Floyd has good bones and good Feng Shui.


We have been spending a lot more times in our homes than we ever remember. Take stock before you venture back out into the new normal and ask yourself how you feel in your home, on your property, about your neighbors, in your neighborhood?  These are all issues that Feng Shui can help support. 

Gardening


During COVID19, we are living in Palo Alto, our new neighborhood. I’m kind of obsessed with my new neighbor’s gardens. Gardening activity is up now as it is solitary and deemed safe. 

Gardening is an earth element activity. Earth offers stability to the inhabitants of the home. If things feel unstable, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say we all feel this way, then gardening is a great activity to get grounded, reduce anxiety and enhance this element for your property. Pick what you love and what will work in your climate. 

How to Sell in This New Environment


I’ve ordered my vlogging starter kit online. It was so easy, I picked it up from sitting in my car curbside. Way to adapt, Best Buy! 

See my two tips for how to sell in this new environment we find ourselves in on my new vlog here:

Watch: