Saturday, April 4, 2020

A Dog's Eye: Space Invaders

It's funny you know. I didn't plan to write at all about the only thing people want to talk about. (Even if the main topic is not COVID-19, the subtext often is.) I guess the rebel in me, the one that might be condemning me to obscurity as a writer, just wanted to swim upstream.

I must be getting old and soft as I've just given in and jumped on the bandwagon. Partly, it's common sense. If I want to be in the world, why pretend that what the world cares about is a figment of overactive imagination? It's not. It would be stupid to think so. It's real and although I don't feel anxious, I acknowledge that many do. I wouldn't be a very good human if I didn't care about that. 

The other reason I'm writing about it is because it is having an impact on me. How could it not? Who hasn't been touched by what's happening? On Friday afternoon, we closed to students and will be switching to online delivery even though we, neither teachers nor students, are ready for that. As a result of the scramble to get ready, I've been employing a lot of mental energy to think of, process and implement various solutions to the myriad of problems which keep popping up. I'm not on my Pat Malone. Many people are facing exactly the same issues, or a host of different complications. Personally and professionally, COVID19's footprint is significant.

I don't recall ever spending so much time thinking about work as I have this week. I'm very good at switching off. I don't bring work home because I don't have to. I don't feel any obligation to complete work outside of the hours I'm paid for, nor to invest time and energy in solving work problems when I'm not at work. Of course, it happens sometimes, but as a rule, when I leave my office I leave my office behind.

This week has been different. I'm acutely aware I'm operating at a much higher level than normal. Those spaces reserved for non work related thinking are being invaded. Last night, I went to bed early and slept soundly. I told my wife, my brain was exhausted, but I was exaggerating...a little. If I was operating under my own strength, I wouldn't be able to maintain this intensity. However, my God is my strength and my song, and he gives me a fresh start each day. This morning I woke up good to go. Thankfully, I have two days at home before resuming the battle.

My prayer for everyone is that we become stronger through this trial. That we care more, love more and give more. That we value things we have taken for granted, and that we figure out what really matters and live out that belief instead of just paying lip service to it.

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