Today is June 18th, 2020, so we are about half way through the calendar year. To say this year has been different than most would be a gross understatement, as I am sure most would agree. Just to touch on things going on right now, here is a list of the big three things what my world entails thus far:
2. Civil Unrest
Like with any challenge, concern or downright slap in the face, its how you react that makes all the difference. As the old saying goes:
“Life is 10% what happen and 90% how you deal with it”
So, here is how I have decided to deal with each of these three listed above. Let’s start with the first one…COVID19
First of all, I am REALLY FORTUNATE to be able to say that my job status was not affected by this pandemic. I and everyone else in my office was able to work from home, and we still are to date. Because AZ is the new NYC in terms of coronavirus cases (and counting up every day!) we will likely be operating in this fashion for a while yet. However, this has led to some interesting changes for us at my day job. Our staff has done such a good job during this switch to work-from-home, that we now have the confidence i them to continue to do so. This will: A. open up the discussion of downsizing our office space, reducing our monthly overhead for the building we are in. B. If we can adjust our training program accordingly, we can hire RNs from around the country instead of just local, deepening the pool of talent we can draw from. C. It has reduced my business travel to zero, and other than a few key conferences next year, I may have a real good case for no business travel for something like just a presentation ever again!
For me personally, I have adjusted my schedule to be much different than when I was in the office all the time. working from home has made me realize how much fluff was in days at the office; I literally was looking for things to do to look busy. I have an awesome support staff, and so my job can be almost solely focused on the sales side and not have to worry about much else. This has freed up a lot of my time, and I am adjusting my days accordingly. I also have a lot of clients and partners in the East Coast time zone, so I have made the shift to planning calls and presentations earlier in the day. Because I just have to wake up, brush my teeth and walk 20 feet to my home office, I am “at work” by 6AM when I need to be. Several days a week my wife and I go to the park nearby at the crack of dawn and work out outside in the morning sunlight. This has been a great thing for us to do together, and I am in better shape now than I have been for several years. We have gotten a bunch of home projections done too, as I can be here if a contractor is coming over, or I can paint the patio roof in the early morning before it is too hot and/or I need to be working.
Next…civil unrest. This is a tough one, as the world seems to have lost its way recently. In my opinion, far too many people are just jumping on the bandwagon of things they see on Social Media and the news. Yes, the things that have happened recently to people like George Floyd and others is terrible, and can’t be undone. Is there systemic racism to be undone? Maybe, I am not sure. It seems that way, and when I speak about this topic with my friends who are black or African American, they do feel that way. The difficult thing for me to wrap my head around is the everyone seems to have their own set of statistics to back up their narrative. It is confusing to say the least. No add into the mix CEO and others stepping down from companies, Democrats wearing African tribal colors and kneeling in the US Capitol building sent a mixed message to everyone, and even the Washington Post had to shake its head a little despite leaning HEAVILY in the direction of the Democratic party (or at least in the Never-Trump direction)
A police officer in Atlanta is now being tried for murder after shooting a black suspect during an altercation outside a Wendy’s. He was intoxicated and passed out in his car, but things escalated from there. Currently, with the information I have at this moment in time, it appears that the police officer operated within the bounds of Georgia law, and used deadly force against someone who, by definition, was threatening him with another form of deadly force. Regardless of your feelings on this situation, the reality is that if the GA law defines things in this manner, and that man was shot within the bounds of the law, this officer should not be on trial. BUT…the public outcry may have forced this situation in the direction it is headed, despite what I said in the previous sentence. And in yet another odd protest, the Wendy’s where this took place was set ablaze and burned to the ground. WHAT THE HELL DID THAT WENDY’S DO? There is no logic in the looting and rioting in many cases, but again, people are pissed off, many or unemployed and really struggling, and the frustration of mistreatment has been the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.
So what have I learned from this? Well, I know for a fact that much of the immediate, initial information that I receive through the news and/or social media is wrong, skewed, tainted, or just flat out inaccurate. I am trying to get better at pausing…just taking a moment to question what I saw or heard, check the source, and wait for more information before I truly form an opinion. It is not easy, but I am trying. Additionally, this unrest has sparked several conversations with different people that have turned out to be long overdue and deeply interesting in many ways. For that, I am thankful. I am not going to join the few who are apologizing for their white privilege, as I don’t see that having any real impact and I am not about to apologize for who I am. And I am not giving any money to Black Lives Matter until I am sure that it is not a fake charity for the Democratic party as some have suggested. What a twist of irony that would be if this turned out to be true…. Whether this is completely false or not, Black Lives Matter at the moment seems to be a nebulous organization with no real leader or spokesperson, or a clear agenda or plan for resolving the problems the world is facing.
And then there is the wildfires…not much I can do about this but pray that the fireman can get the fires just outside of Phoenix are going to get that under control soon. There is no rain in sight, windy conditions and hot temperatures are complicating things too. From a selfish perspective, this fire is starting to get close to the area that I fish in frequently, and I shudder to think that this could be gone in the near future. A place that I used to fish was burned in a fire about 15 years ago and it has yet to recover to anywhere near its former self. So from this I learn the hard lesson that everything is temporary; despite how much we love something, it may not be here another day depending on circumstances. I try not to dwell on it, but its tough.