We are on day 189 of 15 days to slow the spread.
Yesterday, I had to go to my office downtown to help facilitate an electronic meeting. Yes, you can run it from home, but no, let’s just say this was a little more complicated and leave it at that.
It was a little weird.
Since, March 13, roughly the 47 years of our house arrest, I’ve been downtown maybe three times. One of those times was on a weekend.
I was supposed to do the same thing back in June, but that was (one of the) week(s) that the city was being peacefully protested to the ground and state offices were closed.
Actually, more like too little too late, but that’s another blog post.
The trip downtown was quiet, the parking garage almost empty. There’s just a skeleton crew in the office and they rotate days being on site.
But a funny thing happened when I sat down at my desk. I’ve got a great view looking west up the James River. I remembered that, even though there are times that I tire of the day job, some day’s it’s pretty good.
Especially after our 47 years of house arrest.
I saw people that I realized I had not seen in person since March. No, we’re not close friends, we’re colleagues. Still, there was a familiarity.
Nothing seems familiar these days.
I mean, we’ve settled into the home routine. The four of us and assorted livestock that live in our house, have this social distancing, online learning, online teaching, online work, sorted out.
But, while it’s become routine, I refuse to accept the idea that this is our “new normal.”
I’m 62 and I don’t remember any discomfort in my lifetime lasting this long. Well, maybe disco.
And, the truth is, I was too young to really grasp how long we were in Vietnam.
I think back to a hundred years ago when a generation of young men went off to fight the War to End War. There was no internet and letters home took weeks or months, if they ever got there.
Yet the American spirit endured.
But here we are, asked to stay home, asked to wear a mask, and all most of us do is get cranky about it.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally done with 2020. But neither 2020 nor the pandemic are done with us.
So, I found myself in a situation where going to work felt fresh and new.
Maybe, just maybe, that’s some of the wonder we need to be looking for.
Maybe it’s the magic I was talking about on Monday.
Think about it, we’ll be experiencing things in new ways.
What if we considered that we were experiencing for the first time?
The wonder of carving your first pumpkin.
The wonder of your first Thanksgiving meal.
Perhaps best of all, the wonder of looking at the real first Christmas.
I’m a Christmas performer. I’ll be wearing the red suit most of November and December. All of my experiences will be new ones.
But maybe we look back to that first Christmas and remember what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.
Six months ago, none of us thought that our house arrest would last this long.
We thought, a few weeks, a couple of months, and we’d all be back to our normal routine.
I think what I’m saying is that 47 years of house arrest should teach us to appreciate things when we get them back.
I’m back downtown today for another meeting.
I hope it doesn’t seem routine.