Cat bums, cute kids, and other unexpected delights.

Work has been so busy that yesterday was the first day I had a moment to process anything about the last two weeks.  And although it was a messy, difficult day that ended with a crash landing in my bed at 8:30 (where I proceeded to sleep for a glorious 12 hours in a row), it helped to push me through an odd auto-pilot phase to a place that at least feels like a beginning of some reckoning with a new normal.

I’ll have more to say in time (I hope), but here’s what I know today. Of the many, many challenges of the last few weeks, there have been some unexpected moments of joy and comfort in places I never expected to find them.

An example. I thought virtual meetings were going to be limiting and awkward. Yet in the short span of ten days of working at home, my daily departmental Zoom meetings have become the most stabilizing part of my workday.  The new “windows” they offer into one another’s lives have been quietly but extraordinarily powerful.  The cute kids peeking into the corners of screens, the indifferent cats sticking their bums in the camera, and the sounds of real life humming along in the background — all of it has had the effect of humanizing us all in ways I don’t think can really happen at the office.  Yet the virtual format still also gives us all the flexibility to decide what we want to share. Don’t feel like showing your unwashed hair or your kid’s disastrous bedroom (the same one that you’ve set up shop in order to escape the incessant bickering from the living room)?  No problem. Just click “stop video.” Or better yet, insert a virtual backdrop with pictures from your most recent vacation.  It’s all good, and it all works.

I’ve been honestly touched by the experience of watching folks come together to just dig in, get shit done, and work together to make sense of what is really needed and what is really just noise.

And then there’s the laughter.  So. much. laughter. Small but important mercies in this giant mess.

I am grateful for it.

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