Sometimes I just sit in front of my computer, staring at the screen, knowing I am supposed to be working, coming up with new ideas, creating amazing things, and sending people the documents they are waiting for. Then I look through the window at the trees in my yard. I work at a little table in the front window of my living room now. The trees are bright green. There is a slight breeze. Sun shines through the leaves and I wonder what the temperature is like.
And then I remember that there is a class zoom meeting. Where is the meeting ID number? Shoot.
Did I sign him up for the science group? When is that?
Ping. Text message. Did I do the thing? Not yet. I’ve been... busy? I feel busy, but not like I’m really accomplishing anything.
Ding. Email. Here’s another update about what we’re allowed or not allowed to do, but so-and-so says that is stupid and what’s-her-face says it’s a conspiracy. So, maybe we don’t have to do it?
It’s all urgent, but it also feels artificial. It’s important, but kind of optional.
Snap out of it! This is a great opportunity! And look how lucky you are. You should be thankful. Other people don’t have what you have. Stop complaining.
But is this complaining? Does feeling antsy mean that I am ungrateful? Is it complaining to feel like this abundance of something that we are all feeling is somehow not enough? Oh! Zoom class meeting starts in 10 minutes! Do you have the login? It’s the same as last time, right?
It’s been six weeks now that we have been in...whatever this is. It’s not a quarantine, because we can kind of go anywhere. People are dying by the dozens, but hey - you can get wine delivered to your door and look, those people are taking their boat somewhere. They look okay. Is this even a real thing?
I get up and wander to my husband’s office. Our house is quiet. The kids are…doing schoolwork? Sure. We stare at each other as I lean against the door frame. He’s in a zoom call. We have it good. We have jobs, a house, food, and all the time in the world now. Opportunity!
“Mom, I did my spelling. Now what?”
I turn around. “Let’s go for a walk outside.”
We walk, and he talks. I listen, but only halfway because another voice is talking just a little louder. “Do you get it yet? Zoom out, not in. Look at the big picture - there is good stuff here, and it is enough.”
Zoom! This is the real zoom: the zoom out. We were supposed to make it simpler and we made it more complicated. We were supposed to slow down and we sped up even more. We added meetings to our lives that we literally refer to as “zooms.” But we zoomed the wrong way.
My pace quickens as we turn the corner and I feel energy come back into my body. I smile down at the boy next to me, chattering as he wheels around on his scooter. The meeting ID numbers are lost and we don’t care. The passwords are forgotten and it doesn’t matter. We’re going to be okay. We’ll adapt and we’re going to see the world change before our eyes, if we remember to zoom out.