I’ve gotten a kick out of the stories I read about Zoom meetings where someone’s husband or child or other household resident walks through a meeting saying something inappropriate or wearing something inappropriate. As an online educator for the past several years, I’m used to digital meetings and the funny things that sometimes happen. It’s life, isn’t it? We’re so used to plastering on a face to take to work and now many people are only dressing from the waist up.
I do get dressed each and every day, in clothes that allow for my online work and my outside work. My students are used to my ball cap at times, my down vest, my Carhartt if I just came in from chores or checking cattle and didn’t have time to shuck it at the door and, for the most part, I’m sitting in a chair. That means they don’t see the calf poop on my knee or the sticky stiff drying yuck from whatever I rubbed up against, but it wouldn’t matter if they did because it’s real. They want to know that I’m real.
In my live room, I see their kitchens, their family in the background, I hear their pets or their newest baby sibling crying. I see out their windows into their yard or neighborhood and they see outside mine to the lilacs or the bird feeders or the pasture. One good thing that’s come from COVID19 is this tendency toward being real, being human, showing the struggle: the kid’s hair matted from sleep as they sit in their PJ’s working in front of a computer, parents trying to help-families eating together and maybe even cooking together, doing puzzles, making crafts, having crazy dance parties, Zooming with grandparents, friends, and relatives.
Real people get annoyed with each other. Real people have ratty old favorite sweat shirts. Real people accidentally walk through “important” meetings and yell, “Has anyone seen my pants?” Real people find ways to be positive, to connect, to protect, to love, to pray, to dance, to watch old TV shows, to laugh and cry, to be afraid and have faith, to mourn and to find joy, and to reach out to those in need, those alone, those distraught, or those who can provide that little bit of comfort we all need. Be a light, won’t you?