I don’t do sad.
Sarcastic? Check. Irreverent? Oh, yeah. Cynical? Sometimes; although, cynicism and realism edge ever closer to being distinctions without differences. Skeptical? Always. But sad? No. That is, until …
Last week, my beautifully thoughtful friend, Kimberly Davis, wrote a piece called, “The Madness of Tagging”. It was clearly evident from the piece that the only thing more distressing to Kimberly than having to shovel through an avalanche of posts on which she’s routinely tagged was writing and publishing the piece about her distress at having to shovel through an avalanche of posts on which she’s routinely tagged. I later learned she’d felt guilty about writing the piece and hadn’t slept the night before it published.
Several things occurred to me then: First, if you end the day feeling guilty because you’ve neglected to respond to all the posts on which you were tagged — or because you haven’t gotten anything else accomplished because you did respond to all the posts on which you were tagged — something’s definitely gone awry.
Second, in addition to guilty, we end up feeling exhausted. Most of us derive energy from getting things done, from lining things up and picking them off. But when we’re working against the current of the tag torrent, we can’t be done. It’s never done because the torrent never ends.
Third, perhaps this guilt and exhaustion are aspects of the coronavirus learning curve. We’re creating myriad social-media interdependencies that start out being reassuring, that give us a sense of connection in a disarmingly disconnected and dysfunctional world. Then we find ourselves evolving toward enough already.
Yes. Growing pains do come in all different flavors. But these particular pains left me feeling sad, so sad I created this video:
Finally, I recalled a conversation I once had with my son, Sean, a gifted basketball coach. In a conversation about planning, I asked him if he created a plan for every game. He said, “Yes. I scout every team we’re going to play. And I create a plan for every game. But I have no idea what’s going to happen until the ball goes up.”
As we find our way through this coronavirus-infected world, I hope we can be patient with ourselves. I hope we can let the ball go up before beating ourselves up.
And, Kimberly, I hope you allow yourself to feel better. You’re by no means alone.