unday was one of the best days ever. I got a free ticket to the Chiefs/Raiders game complete with a pregame suite and all the beer I could drink. The Chiefs absolutely thrashed the Raiders. The weather was fantastic and I had some of the most fun I’ve had at Arrowhead. (Or GEHAhead or whatever they call it.)
Understandably, I was a smidge hung over on Monday. But Monday was a big day, too. I was taking a cybersecurity class for my work that I’ve been asking my boss about for over a year. So there was no time for hangovers. I downed a couple of Tylenol and dug in. The class was riddled with technical issues. It was done over Zoom and the video was choppy most of the day. The course consisted of practice labs that we were to do as well, and the labs kept stopping and restarting – losing sometimes an hour of work. After a particularly frustrating reboot, I got up to get a drink of water and I felt a pain in my knee. I’ve lived in the Northland long enough to know that this pain wasn’t due to anything other than impending weather. Sure enough, a storm was a-brewin’.
On Tuesday, I woke up with a little bit of a tickle in the back of my throat. A hot shower and a few DayQuil tablets later, I fought again with the technology in my cyber class – the irony not lost on me that I’m in a computer class fighting with computers. During a break, I check Twitter and confirm that, indeed, a storm was to hit on Wednesday.
Wednesday I turned for the worst. I could barely get out of bed. I struggled to breathe overnight and knew that maybe a COVID test wasn’t a bad idea – just to rule it out. Three hours later, I tested positive for COVID-19. Again. This is the second time I’ve had COVID. I had it in February before the general access to the vaccines. I was going to go get my booster shot next week. While I was reading the email about my diagnosis, my computer lab rebooted. Around 3 p.m., the wind knocked out my power just long enough for me to lose the rest of my progress in the class. I spent the rest of the night watching Gary Lezak explain how December can cook up a thunderstorm, wind gusts of 80 miles an hour and a few tornadoes.
Thursday, I emailed my instructor and just asked him for the videos of the class which I’ll review later. I couldn’t get out of bed. My wife noticed a tickle in the back of her throat. At least the Chiefs won.
Friday, my son’s car broke down and I got a text “something about the transmission.” I checked it from bed. I did manage to shower.
We’ve all had weeks like this – some of us significantly worse. This isn’t a story about my bad week. I spent most of the week angry. It’s not fair that COVID is still a thing. It’s not fair that I had to fight for my company to send me to a class that isn’t working. It’s not fair that transmissions are a thing – both the COVID and the automobile kind. It’s not fair that life continually tries to kick you in the balls like Lucy begging Charlie Brown to try another field goal attempt.
Friday afternoon, I logged back into my course and I was staring at a blank screen with the word CONTROL> on it. The cursor blinking, waiting for input.
My fever broke overnight. The kid’s car is something we’ll figure out later. I have a car sitting in the garage that I barely drive right now. COVID actually gave me a full Saturday of not working free to catch up on my videos from class, and I have just enough energy to bring my wife some chicken noodle soup. I even got to pick up a few branches that were knocked down by Wednesday’s storm.
Control what you can control – even when it seems like you have no control. All you need is a blinking cursor and the energy to put in a command.
(There’s no controlling Chris Kamler on Twitter, where he is known as @TheFakeNed. Check it out)