April 20, 2021 — It’s Sunday, and I’m taking a glorious mid-day bath in order to baby my knee post-tennis lesson, enjoying the lovely warm epsom-salty soak. Of course, no bath is complete without Enya blasting,
“No, that’s weird. Shelter-in-place? It must be spam” so we dismiss it at that moment. I hear the fire truck announce itself and leave, not connecting the two. Fire trucks get calls, even at noon on a Sunday.
Not 3 minutes later I get a text from my neighbor with a link to the local news. OMG.
Active shooter. 3 killed.
How stomach-dropping a term that is, no matter what. No matter WHERE.
But when it’s followed by “Northwest Austin, Arboretum area” it is REAL. So close. TOO CLOSE.
“The kids are all home, right???”
“Colby just left.”
The child that is home 95% of the time is out!?! NOOOOOOOOOO!
“Call him. Now. Tell him to not go anywhere else.”
The bath is no longer luxurious or enjoyable. It’s so 5 minutes ago.
I get out, dry off, get dressed.
I keep refreshing the news story. There’s almost nothing to read, and I actually don’t want to read. I’m not on Twitter. I just can’t.
I start texting family. “There’s an active shooter situation going down 5 minutes from our house, but we are currently safe.”
And so on.
How do you just have a regular Sunday after that? You don’t really, but there’s this incredible tool available to everyone:
Decide to act on what you CAN control instead of rub the worry beads over what you CAN’T.
Inevitably one is going to worry. My oldest son lives in Boulder, and less than a month ago there was an active shooter at a grocery store there. (WTF is going on in this country?!?) I worried, (of course!!), but since what I could control was checking in on my son (he was home safe), then I was only reminded when so many loving friends and family texted me to check if Colin was okay. (I love my village so much!)
Back to last Sunday: I did my best to keep on keepin’ on, but circling helicopters, frequent texts and checking the news made for a draining day. Ironically, it was the MOST GORGEOUS Spring weather you could ever wish for. Sunny, some clouds, light breeze: PERFECT.
Except for the underwriting feeling of dread. Did I know anyone that was likely sheltering-in-place in the adjacent stores or churches or apartments? Turns out, yes, I did. One of my friends made one of the initial 911 calls from her church.
FOCUS on only what you CAN control. As best you possibly can.
My hindsight thoughts are these:
-appreciate as many moments as you can, because shit will hit the fan at any time.
-focus on what you CAN control and seek to let go what you can’t
-keep tabs on and know your community, your neighbors so that when needed, you can check in
-I’m an extremely fortunate person in that gun violence, helicopters circling and frequent sirens are not common in my daily routine as they are in many other parts of the city, state, country and the world
-I sure wish it hadn’t been an incident involving POC because they don’t need more bad press at this moment
-EVERY SINGLE DAY, HOUR, MINUTE, MOMENT is a beautiful gift to be treasured and appreciated, no matter what
In closing, the beautiful weather day gifted a breathtaking sunset that I enjoyed until it turned completely black. It was meant to be appreciated. So I did.
I can honestly say I felt drained yet grateful. What else could I do?
Thanks for reading. Not a funny blog post today, being that it was not a funny event, however it was important to share. And learn from. And move forward past. Internalizing the lessons.