A Choice (Silver Lining 5-5-2020)

May 5, 2020

I feel like each day right now brings a choice.

I can wake up and fight. I can fight against all the uncertainty I feel about the future.

Since I work pretty much exclusively in international “stuff”, my normal planning is laughable at the moment. So far, I’ve cancelled a course. I’ve put incoming dairy farm trainees on hold. I’ve stopped helping young people go to Australia. We’ve cancelled the summer Spanish exchange students. Schools can’t decided yet if they want fall exchange students. The fall course I work with happens at a large, international trade show–and what will life be like in July?

So, each day, I ask myself what I can do? What I should do? Do I spent time doing the prep work–only to see it all be a waste? Do I invest energy in planning for an eventual return to what I’ve done? How can I “pivot”–the new catch word batted about by seemingly everyone–when there are so many unknowns?

The second choice is whether to fight at all. What about just stepping away from pushing for an answer on things I can’t control? What about just… letting it be?

That runs very contrary to the way I was raised. I can almost hear my father from his grave, all the way in the Midwest: One. Does. Not. Just. Sit. Idle.

But still, when my main project for today was waylaid by an error that required technical support, the decision was made for me. Although I could do a few other things–(and I did, indeed, do them, I promise, Dad) I lost momentum on my planned goal. Maybe because so much of life feels largely out of control, I find it really frustrating to have those sorts of disruptions.

By the end of the morning’s back-and-forth chats with technical support, I was getting the message that my fighting against this was just not helping.

So, when three family members could all take a family walk after lunch, we strolled along at a relaxed pace. I paid more attention to my daughter when she showed me her photos (very cute puppy shots!). And we three girls had a fun outing of driving into downtown for an errand–and stopping to appreciate (and photograph!) masses of blooming red tulips.

Now at the end of the day, oddly enough, that’s what I find my silver lining is today. It was a bit of “permission granted” to “just let it be”.

Just for an afternoon (because good ol’ work ethics die hard).

Silver Linings…

started as my personal response to 2020’s global pandemic of COVID-19.  When I published them locally,  I was surprised by how much people responded to them.


I hope they bring some positivity to you, too, during this unsettling time

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