A Bothersome Burden Has Just Been Lifted From My Shoulders, Did You Just Get the Same Feeling?

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A terrible bothersome burden has just been removed from my shoulders. Did you just get the same feeling?

The last time I felt this weighed down was, well, maybe a half century ago. For those of you who think “half century ago” must refer to ancient times, do the math. I’m talking about the late 1960s and early 1970s.

It’s a very uncomfortable feeling. It’s a drag. And I don’t mean “drag” in the sense that was used in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but “drag” in the sense of physics, specifically as engineers use it in automotive design and aeronautics. It a gnawing downward pressure that prevents you from moving faster or soaring higher.

Like so many others, I am free of that burden now. I didn’t do it alone. I have Hal to thank. And his barber shears.

Yes, I’ve had my first haircut in more than three months. And what a relief.

Do you ever get a sense that your hair, when it starts getting too long, feels heavy? Doesn’t that make you uncomfortable? For me, it makes it harder to fall asleep at night.

So, I’m thankful I can finally return to my regular clipping. You might think someone as follicle-challenged as me can get bothered by long hair. You’d think wrong. For though my bald dome glows with blinding reflectivity when I’m out in the sun, that’s only the top of my head. The sides and back can grow thick with the weeds of unkempt hair. And that’s a terribly bothersome burden.

As I relaxed in Hal’s barber chair, I reflected on some other things I’m thankful these last few months have offered.

I’ve always wanted to work at home. The office is great and all, but sometimes I feel I can get more done at home. I’m thankful I have found out that I could get more done at home. I’m thankful this opportunity excited me. I’m thankful it didn’t overwhelm me. I feel invigorated. And I don’t want that feeling to stop.

Of course, I’m thankful for the internet and having the foresight to always buy more computer power than I’m supposed to need. The internet allows me to carry my office in a little bag and set up shop wherever I can find reliable wi-fi and a willing outlet for my laptop. As much as I feel my office is a second home, I roam like a free-range chicken, unshackled from the chains of bricks and mortar. I’m thankful for that.

I’m thankful that our sudden “stay safe at home” policy decision made everyone more accepting of remote work and, more broadly, the virtual experience. For years, I’ve been living the carefree life working wherever life took me. As happy as I’ve been for this freedom, in a way it isolated me. It was not considered “standard operating procedure.” As a result, it left me with this lonely feeling.

Not anymore. Now everyone has discovered the joy of remote efficiency. I recognized this would never have been revealed were it not for the pandemic. I am therefore quite thankful, for I am no longer alone. My “workstyle” (as opposed to “lifestyle”) is now seen as a viable alternative, but, dare I say it, the “new normal.” I can get used to this new normal and the new opportunities it has provided and will continue to provide.

I am thankful for the many different ways this crisis has brought our community together. Staying at home seems to have made people focus on those things closer to home. From car parades to “Light Up” events to everyone chipping in to make masks, distribute hand sanitizer and tell us which restaurants were still open, we have all embraced our local presence. It’s wonderful to see and we should all be proud and appreciative of this.

I remain especially thankful to our village mayors and town supervisors. I thank them for their willingness to talk to us every week and to share their comments with the community. They’ve gone beyond the call to keep us informed, even as the information they were receiving from above was – and continues to be – changing every day, indeed, every hour. This has been a time when they’ve certainly earned their keep. And their efforts should be recognized by us all.

I want to thank all of our readers, contributors, and advertisers. Everyone has been wonderfully patient with us. This has been an amazing time. We’ve been inundated. The paper has grown. We’re busting out at the seams. Readers have been showing more interest in what we’ve been doing. People overall appear enthusiastic and willing to share stories, photos, and other material. While we have lost much advertising, we’ve had some gains elsewhere. I’m thankful for that.

Along these lines, I’m also thankful Donna and Betsy have been able to keep up with this. Sometimes I feel guilty. I get so excited when people want to engage the Sentinel. This generates more work. My own excitement sustains me in taking this on. I’m thankful everyone at the Sentinel also enjoys serving our community. It’s like we’re all family.

And speaking about family, I’m thankful my parents are back from Florida and my daughters have had a chance to come home for extended stays. There’s nothing more important than family. It’s been great that we’ve been able to get together on Zoom, but there’s no substitute to being all together.

And that means the entire extended family.

Which is why I look forward to being thankful for the Fourth of July.

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