As these crazy days roll by, one after the other, it seems that change is the only constant in our lives. Remember these truisms from the very recent past?
*Coronavirus won’t be a threat to the U.S.
*OK. Coronavirus IS a threat to the U.S., but only for the elderly and those with comorbidities.
*Nope, turns out everyone is vulnerable.
*Masks aren’t helpful and you shouldn’t wear them unless you’re a medical professional.
*Scratch that. EVERYONE mask up when you go outside. ALWAYS.
And so it goes. And goes, and goes.
Like you, I’m constantly trying to stay on top of the ever-evolving news. The spread of the virus is concerning. The death rate is unbelievable. Will we have enough hospital beds, ventilators, and healthy medical professionals with enough PPE?
And then there’s the business. Whose idea was it to buy a veterinary practice last year, anyway?? Just kidding! I think . . .
Suddenly, every day at work is much more stressful. I worry about every dip in client visits. I worry whether my employees are healthy–physically and mentally. I worry that my clients are financially strapped and can’t afford care for their furry family members. I worry about all the animals who will end up in shelters due to an economic downturn.
It’s hard, guys.
But the weird thing that helps me is . . . work. And not just any old work, but TASKS. Everyday, mundane, boring, humdrum, plebeian tasks.
There’s a very real calm that settles over me when doing things I know I can do and that will help an animal. A simple cat spay has become a meditative exercise.
The click of the needle drivers as I pick up more suture.
The satisfying feel of the needle as it slides through tissues.
The hand dance that results in a beautiful knot.
The patient on a perfect anesthetic plane, blissfully unaware of the work we are doing to reduce pet overpopulation.
I can do this. I’ve done it hundreds of times. And at the end, I’ve made a difference for that cat.
But to be honest, it’s not just surgery that helps soothe the brain goblins. I’ve been known to clean kennels, mop a floor, even scrub a toilet. And then I’m the boss of those things. In control.
And that’s really what it’s all about right now. Because I sure as hell can’t control a pandemic, as much as I would really like to think I can.
So I’ll just keep on spraying, cleaning, brushing, cutting, and sewing. It’s all I can do.