Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lessons in Perspective

Every day lessons in perspective. You'd think I'd eventually learn. Yesterday, a phone call to a prospective respondent with a "yes, call tomorrow at this same time" answer. I was feeling good, confident.
Then, in the afternoon a situation which felt very much like the scene in "Wizard of Oz" in which Dorothy is talking to the Wizard and Toto pulls back the curtain to reveal the man: A woman's disembodied voice in a smallish (for a mansion) but very opulent and beautiful Italianate villa (in the heart of Nashville) spoke to me through the call box, telling me to vacate the premises immediately or the authorities will be called. When I explained that I have authority to be there, she demands that I hold proof of that authority "up to the door" so her closed circuit camera can record the image for her to view on her computer. When I did so, she said, "yes, um, we're not interested. Please leave this property". It felt surreal and was very disconcerting to me.

This morning, I got ready for the phone interview and was ready 15 minutes early so I killed time until 9:30. At precisely 9:30 I picked up the phone to find the phone line dead! Panic! Quickly checked all the phone lines. They all seem to be connected. Check them again. Still not working! Got my oldest son out of bed to help. He slowly checked the phone and said he didn't know what the problem was. I grabbed my cell phone to let the respondent know I would call him in a few minutes (we're not supposed to do these interviews with a cell phone because of security issues) and, imagine...he didn't answer. And then I checked one of the connections on the house phone line again and found the problem. And all that panic for absolutely NOTHING.

Perspective. I get all het up over the smallest things imagining them to matter. What matters is my response to them, not the thing itself. Again.

And Van Morrison's song is running through my head:

"When will I ever learn,

To live in God?

When will I ever learn?

He gives me everything

I need and more.

When will I ever learn?"

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