Slow down.

 

Sure, the next 700 words are important but if you only remember one thing, it’s the two words above. And I mean it in a literal sense as in, when you are driving or biking or skating or even walking-slow down. But also in a big picture sense, as in life, because things are opening and changing fast and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

 

Too many deaths and injuries happening around town. Yes, we’re all excited to be out again and driving again and getting to important meetings again but somehow our awareness gene took a beating in the last year. Either that or we’re just more distracted post-pandemic (languishing) or maybe we’re just more selfish or maybe it’s screens or wine but probably a combination of all these things.

 

Whatever the reason, we are driving poorly and yes, I am in the group as well. Mid-pandemic I was backing out of my driveway, did not look back and ran right into another truck, totally my fault, totally should have been avoided, totally thinking about other things, totally tried to write it off on my taxes as a COVID-related expense, totally had my tax person laugh in my face.

 

So please slow down, use your blinkers, act like bikes and pedestrians have the right of way because they do. Become an empathetic driver and let all those angry drivers have their stress-related heart attacks while you let it go.

 

Now speed up.

 

Wait, what? Walt’s giving us another mixed message, boy I hate that.

 

This time I’m talking about the last 13 months and if you have spent it online and alone and insular then you are more than ready to bust out. But a hibernating bear doesn’t come roaring and running out of her cage, she stretches, then crawls, then walks and then maybe eventually runs.

 

Did you watch that old guy throwin’ dreams the other night? I thought I was in a Twilight Zone episode where all the things I’ve been ranting about are now on the table. Plus, funded by those making 400k and up, yes please.  Educate and care for everyone, redo roads and bridges and get rid of lead pipes and prioritize people over profits and cure cancer and address mental health and diversity and racism, Jeez Joe, I’m getting tired just making the list…

 

But this is where we are and we need you to be on board because we learned from COVID that we definitely do better together which means drop the attitude and sign up for the future. Not sure what that means? Well, me either but that’s where the crawling comes in. Start small-what can you change in your life to address the climate crisis or what do you want to help with and what needs help? Or go big, redo your resume and prepare for the real jobs which are only 2 trillion dollars away.

 

And let’s start celebrating what we have. Those giant heads in the plaza-fun! New stadium at the high school-yes! Multi-purpose room at El Verano-awesome! New superintendent-great! The Mathesons buying up 49 Sonoma properties-OK, not so sure about that one but let’s hope it’s just shrewd investing.

 

But first let’s get as many shots into arms as possible. I have a professional colleague who zooms in from Amsterdam each week for my Monday advisory class and this week she was saying the town is a mess, no available shots, a population (especially young people) who are partying like it’s 1999, Covid spreading, lockdowns imminent. Here we have full access to the vaccine but at least a quarter of the population who refuse to get vaccinated for a variety of reasons which can be summarized in one word: selfish.

 

We have to care about the common good and play the long game. We have to look at where the science is going and what the science has proven. J’Biden has set the target at herd immunity by July 4, let’s start there. I get worried every time I hear another reason for not getting the shot but I’m also perplexed, like haven’t we been waiting for exactly this? A time when I can walk into CVS and get the one thing which enables me to resume life.

 

Time to slow down Sonoma but also time to speed up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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