I think it’s Thursday. I put the garbage out and a couple of other neighbors put their garbage out at the same time, and we all looked like we hadn’t been out of sweats or leggings in a week. My hair looked worse than everybody else. My hair always looks worse than everybody else. Sigh.
Then I came back in and sprayed my homemade hand sanitizer on a paper towel to see if the stuff I put in the bottle last night to mask the smell of the alcohol had worked. It hadn’t. But at least now I’m ready to head to the corner store, even though after I get home, my steering wheel, door handles, and hands will smell like rubbing alcohol masked with a little bit of Poo Pourri spray. I mean, what are you gonna do?
I keep trying to work on my book, but I get distracted by the news headlines on the Internet screaming that I am going to die, or I am going to be penniless because my retirement accounts are down to zero. Then there’s the ad that keeps popping up on Safari that says, “If you snap your jaw like this every morning, it will remove sagging skin.” And I think, “Why, exactly, am I getting this ad? I really don’t care whether or not my skin is sagging. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, people! Sagging skin is not my first concern. It’s no higher than, I dunno, four or five on the list, right after when those M&Ms I ordered from Amazon are going to arrive.
In my endless surfing I have noticed my two TEDxMileHigh talks are popular again on the Internet. The first one has close to 2.9 million views. I get message requests every day on Facebook from people who took the time to look me up and say nice things about the talk. Apparently, it is the kind of feel-good talk people like to see in these times. It’s had 10,000 views in the last 24 hours. My newer talk, on the other hand, is up to about 155,000 views, though it is only getting about 3,000 views a day. While the thumbs up/down ratio for the first talk is about 8 to 1, on the second talk it is 4 to 1. The newer talk is not as popular as the old, but it is getting three times the comments. The newer one is not a feel-good talk. I’d see what’s going on with the comments, except, you know, you don’t ever read comments.
I’ve done three live video conferences in the last week, one with TEDxCincinnati, one with a church in Minneapolis, and one at Left Hand Church. We did that last one live and in the flesh at a church that allowed us to use their building, where it was guaranteed we could stay six feet apart. That one has had 4,000 views in five days, which is kinda interesting, since we are a church of 100 people. You can find it on Facebook by looking up Left Hand Church. I’m doing another church service this Sunday, and I’ll be preaching at Left Hand again on April 18. I am grateful to be found useful at times like these.
I’m hearing from a lot of folks who have Zoom fatigue. They are realizing video conferencing is hard work. You do not have the full-body three-dimensional views to which you are accustomed. You cannot read the room, or check body language. All of your discernment has to be two-dimensional. And that is hard work, trying to figure out all the dynamics of the meeting. Then there is always that person who doesn’t mute, even though the host says, “It’d be great if you all could mute yourselves.” I just want the host to say, “Hey Ralph, you idiot, you’re the one who is not on mute. We don’t want to hear your dog bark at the mailman. Get with the program!” But the hosts are always too nice, so we all suffer Ralph’s dog.
I “see” pastoral counseling clients via video. It is not ideal, but we make it work. Maybe I should send my clients a picture of the office, so they feel more like they are sitting on the comfy couch, looking out the window at the mountains. I miss seeing clients in the office. Since I have been speaking so much, I have kept my pastoral counseling practice small. While we are all stuck at home, I think I am going to open it up to allow a few new clients. I enjoy helping people remove the obstacles to finding their own answers. If you can get to a person’s core, he or she pretty much always knows what to do. The problem is removing the obstacles that prohibit them from getting to their core.
Oops, speaking of clients, it’s time to go. My prayers are with you all.