For Rob Angel, 62, the year 2020 did not pan out as planned. That spring was meant to be the big push for the launch of the book, Game Changer, he had been working on for six years, his amazing story of the creation and running of Pictionary, which did not go as he had envisioned. But the year was not all negative; he is feeling energized and centered, ready to take on new challenges with a newly acquired wisdom.
As we look back on a year unlike any other, when everyone’s plans and dreams were at the mercy of a dramatically changeable series of events outside of our control, we are checking in with a few of our past profile people to see how they managed, and how the year changed them.
What was the biggest change for you last year?
I moved in with my girlfriend. When the pandemic hit we realized we would get separated and we had to make a choice: either move in or be apart. So without thinking about it too much, we did it. We thought “let the chips fall as they may,” and it’s been great.
Susan teases me the biggest adjustment was not so much the moving in together, but the physical sharing of the closet. It was the first time this has happened in many many years. Otherwise, it’s been wonderful.
“It’s one of the things the pandemic has shown me: that staying put is not just ok, it is a great way to be.”
One of the things about the pandemic is that you have not been traveling as much. How was that for you?
It was liberating to slow down and not feel the pull to be somewhere else all the time. As we got into a rhythm of not traveling, I didn’t feel that I was missing anything. As the pandemic is hopefully winding down, the pull to travel is there again, but it is not as strong as it once was. I’ll be more intentional about what I do and where I go, rather than just jumping on a plane.
A year and a half ago I went to Europe, bouncing around seeing friends all over. But if we do that again, we will probably just stay in one place and invite people to come to see us there. It’s one of the things the pandemic has shown me: that staying put is not just ok, it is a great way to be.
Launching a Book in the Pandemic
Let’s talk about the book launch in the middle of the pandemic.
I wrote a book about the story of Pictionary which took me 6 years to complete. We, unfortunately, launched on June 1st. The assumption was that people would be staying home and reading a lot more. That didn’t transpire. During June and July, I was doing a lot of interviews and podcasts and not, unfortunately, really selling many books. It was just very bad timing. I am quite proud of the book and am looking forward to re-launching it when the world opens up. It really was frustrating with all the work I put into it. But given what is going on in the world, there are more important issues than me and my book.
How did you deal with the social isolation of last year?
For me, Zoom has solidified old relationships. People I met before the pandemic were brought closer via Zoom. It actually made it easier to stay in touch with them. For people that I have only met through Zoom, I have struck up a number of new friendships, which may not have happened in the past.
You are about to get your second shot today. How does it feel to be vaccinated?
It feels good! With everyone getting shots I feel a little stronger, more at ease, and a little freer in the world. It has opened up my positive emotional state more; not that I was feeling negative, but this is definitely a boost.
“It’s been a time of self-improvement”
What’s coming next for you?
Because of not working on the book these past months, I have spent the time working on myself. It’s been a time of self-improvement. I am now open to whatever comes my way, not forcing what’s next, letting the plan unfold as the universe intends. I’m really excited about it; it’s a great way to be. When I press things that are not really aligned with my soul or my heart, it doesn’t work out as well.
I’m out in the world digitally now, speaking to groups on Zoom, sharing my story, contributing where I can. And of course, I am going to re-launch the book when it feels appropriate.