No Fate But What We Make

I think the Terminator franchise got a little cheesy after the first movie, but this line, lifted from Terminator 2, really frames my perspective these days. This post could have been titled “2022, it can’t be that bad.” In the days of Covid (my term for everything that’s come since the pandemic started) it feels like everyone is holding their breath, waiting for the next report, the next thing that will cause us to lament. And sometimes it seems like we (the collective we) are waiting for someone to fix it. I’ve got some news, Sunshine, no one is going to fix it. This is going to have to run it’s course. And I realize it’s been hard. It may get worse before it gets better. So what do we do about it?

For my part? I’m over it. I’ve never expected our leaders, or even science and medicine to fix this. The vaccines are great. Not all that we hoped, but then again, we’re all behind the curve. Even with all that said, if I’m candid, 2021 wasn’t that bad a year. Yes, the pandemic is still impacting everyone’s life. But it’s not controlling mine. I changed jobs in 2021, like untold millions of other people. The pandemic is a watershed and over more than twenty years of doing the same thing, I’m changing gears. It’s not a dramatic shift. I still work for the same company, just in a different role.

I sat on the task of writing my first post of the year, because I didn’t know what to write. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. But now I know. I’m looking forward to this year with a confident expectation of good. Why? Because no matter what has happened in the last two years, everyone I know is still who they were. They’re great people, who love their families, do their jobs and keep on keeping on. Despite these hard times we all seem to be far more resilient and optimistic than the news would have us believe. The economy is red hot. People are living their lives. The lockdowns and mandates are all but a thing of the past. Life goes on for those of us who are still here. We mourn all those we lost, but we must also celebrate those that are still here, and the fact that we have everything before us. There’s never been a better time to find a job. Never more opportunity to have an impact.

If you’re still sitting everything out, you’re missing it.

I have two relatives who embody the sense of how I feel today. They are well along in years. They’ve both faced loss, including losing people they love to Covid and other illnesses. But their perspective, informed by decades more living, is something to behold. They embrace each day. They know that we’re not promised another and that all we can do is get on with the business of living. “Get busy living or get busy dying.” says Andy Dufresne in ‘The Shawshank Redemption’. I’m busy living.

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