Our Stories: Developing a new perception

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By Dunn Neugebauer

This pandemic has affected everyone’s lives – still for me it’s been about developing a new perception.

During normal times, what psychologists call “avoidance” was easy. Why work on what needs working on when there was always something to do, someone to text, somewhere to go? We are a “doing” society.

 Not now. Yes, I selfishly miss the 500-adrenaline-loaded kids in the hallways at Holy Innocents’, and I weep for the seniors and what all they are missing. Their light at the end of their tunnel was abruptly cut off by an invisible roadblock, hidden bullets. Still, perspective…people are dying. 

 Since I had no choice to be alone, I had to do the scariest thing I’ve ever had to do. Sit on a couch, with me. Nowhere I could go. No cross country or track practice. No games to write up at home. Already finished with every season of ‘Cheers’ on Netflix.

 In short, God has called a time-out, and, unlike high school basketball coaches, he can take as long as he wants. He took our to-do lists and wiped the board clean with his powerful eraser. With that said, I have spent the time not only hurrying back to normal but trying to create a new one – one that’s pared and stripped, sanitized and washed as often as my hands.  

 What worked? What did not? Where was time wasted? Who was it wasted with? Like most coaches, I have a goal – to come back with the trash taken out (mentally and physically), with new agendas set, and to return to life at least 10 percent better and 100 percent more grateful.

 I’ll close optimistic. We will come back stronger, better at our jobs, happier to be doing…well…almost everything. When we ask someone how they’re doing, we’ll listen to the answer and we will care. We will look inside each other’s hearts instead of each other’s wallets. 

 In short, time will not be money, time will be sacred. As Brene Brown once wrote, “Life is in the ordinary; we often miss it by looking for the extraordinary.”

 Here’s to not only ordinary, but to a new one. A better one.

 God Bless,

Dunn Neugebauer

Morgan County native Dunn Neugebauer writes and coaches at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School in Atlanta, and is also author of two books

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