It is a quarter to 11 on a Sunday night and I am have just finished sending five or six work emails to get a head start on the week to come.
Got a couple of calls from colleagues last week inquiring about my writing, one asking if I have ever thought about taking it up as a profession.
“It is something I have thought about here and there.”
“You ought to take it seriously, you’re pretty good at putting out an email that I read and understand.”
“Thank you. There are many here who write well. You can too. Just make sure you include a beginning, middle and end. Don’t get lost in the weeds.
I’m leaning into the wind this week, got my feet planted and am focused on making a bigger impact than I have.
Told a few people to be prepared for me to start pushing, pounding and pulling.”I am going to take out a few obstacles this week. Giving you fair notice that I am going to be relentless about it because we’re three weeks into this and we we can’t lose any more ground.
It may be a marathon, but time doesn’t stop for any of us.”
Five Miles Later
Put five miles of walking in today and not because I watched my daughter for a run.
Put five miles in because I haven’t felt that adrenaline rush from exercise that I have to have to maintain my sanity.
Felt the sweat start to slide down my back and chest and smiled because I could feel good things happening.
The streets were virtually empty so I only had to worry about social distancing once. That was because a teenage girl and her Lab came flying down the street together.
Made me smile and remember when the Big Lug and I would do the same. He was 125 pounds of Golden Retriever and he loved to play.
Hard to believe it is 13 years since we said goodbye and longer still since he and wrestled and chased each other.
He wouldn’t have been fazed by an invisible enemy and he would have listened to me say it is ridiculous to label a virus as an enemy.
There is no malice in the virus.
It does what it does without regard or concern for people.
Doesn’t care about politics, race or religion. If it was capable of thought I’d say it takes an egalitarian approach to people, but that gives it more credit than it deserves.
I suppose some people fear it because you can’t negotiate with it. There are no conversations about what the full force of the United States or any other country can do to it.
But that is also why I am optimistic, there are an awful lot of very smart people working on a solution and I am secure in knowing we’ll find it.
Won’t lie and say I have no concerns about what could happen in the interim because I am not a fool, but I won’t let it scare me either.
So I am putting my shoulder into the wheel and making things happen. Lending an ear to those who need it and offering a hand to the few who might consider taking it.
I’ll keep social distancing because it is the right thing to do, but I won’t be lost in cave.
A Mighty Crash
The rain exploded around me the other day with the proverbial mighty crash and as the lightning shot daggers across the sky I looked upwards with arms outstretched and waited to see what happened.
Waited to see if Zeus or Thor wished to test their strength against mine and when my challenge went unanswered resumed walking.
Got a call from one of the boys and caught up on current events and listened to him tell me a bit about single life during a pandemic.
“Some women think they have to be pursued. Maybe you ought to call her.”
“Would you call her?”
“Yeah, give me her number and I’ll call her. I’ll give her a few good stories about you. She’ll love you or hate you for it, can’t predict which.”
He snorted and told me he wasn’t willing to risk giving me free reign.
“If you were in my shoes would you call her?”
“I don’t know if I am the right guy to answer that. I might draw a line in the sand and say I have done all I can do. Or I might call and say exactly what I think.”
“Yeah, you are not always the most tactful.”
“Hey now, I have a romantic streak. I can be much softer if I want to be. Hold me.”
He laughed and I told him how I keep thinking about a quote from Einstein, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
“I like that. What do you think it means?”
“I’d say if someone says they like liver and won’t talk to you because you like pasta and they hate it to remind them not to make ridiculous excuses.
I’d say inertia keeps us from moving from our safety zones and that pandemics don’t make it any easier.
Bottom line, there aren’t many challenges we can’t take on if we are willing to do the work.”
“Does that mean you have learned to fly or how to become invisible?”
“Not yet, but by the next Zoom call I’ll have worked something out.”
The phone rings again and another conversation about how scary and dangerous some things are right now.
The person on the other side asks me how I can be so calm and matter-of-fact and I shrug my shoulder.
I know they can’t see it so I start talking.
“I am not unconcerned but I am focused on not trying to eat the whole damn elephant at once. I can’t control the virus. Can’t control people, not the idiot in the White House or those around me.
So I am breaking things up into pieces and trying to focus on what I can do. Today I feel pretty good. I am grateful and happy.
Tomorrow I may be stressed out and angry. I know people who are sick and people who have died. But I have a job and the ability to pay my bills and I haven’t always been in this position.
I have been up against it in a much more difficult position so I know a thing or two about times like this.
Got to enjoy the sunshine while you feel it because that feeling doesn’t last, but despair doesn’t either.”
That is what five miles can do…at least for me.