Oh, yes – today was back to "normalcy". At work for the second day in a row, dealing with matters of extreme importance and urgency – truly making a difference in the lives of people. So what was the major area of focus for me when I got back – yep, you guessed it, prairie dogs.
First let me start out by saying that prairie dogs are the cutest things you’d ever want to see. And let me also say that there is a real reason why I live out here in Colorado – I love and respect animals both of the domesticated kind and wildlife.
Prairie dogs cause a lot of controversy in Colorado, especially in Boulder as Boulder has really pushed the edge of the envelope in terms of wildlife protection. Some might argue that Boulder has gone overboard, while others will say that Boulder is setting the standard. That argument is not for this blog. What I am really referring to is perspective, more specifically mine.
To make a long story short, p-dogs are migrating to urban park lands in Boulder and that is causing us to be in situations that raise a very heated community debate. The issue this time is prairie dogs encroaching on land at the Boulder Reservoir, (more specifically an unpaved parking lot area) and that is land that my department manages.
I got a call from a local reporter today who wanted information on the situation and the local newspaper even came out to take pictures of the temporary barrier we constructed to prevent additional encroachment. It will probably be in the newspaper tomorrow and it will probably be on the front page – prarie dogs or recreation – will the prairie dogs prevent event parking that is helping the Boulder economy?
Is this a controversial issue – you bet. But it’s funny. I came back to work, heard this was the problem going on, and immediately I thought – how am I going to react to this – how does this compare to everything else that is going on in my life right now.
Many people have said to me during the course of all that has happened over the last 6-8 weeks that things happen for a reason and that some good will come out of it all. Well, I think I see part of some of the good. Where before I probably would have gotten emotionally charged about all of this, I am now looking at this merely as a problem that needs to be solved. I am not downplaying the importance of this situation in the eyes of the stakeholders, but I am merely saying this is a problem that we need to resolve and try to do it in the best possible. way.
Maybe part of my gift is learning perspective especially in the light of what truly matters. My job makes a lot of demands on me that, if not handled appropriately, could affect my health and well being. I am beginning to think that I now know that I have to ability to choose whether I allow that to happen or not. And I am choosing not, becuase in the scheme of things there are other things that play a much more important role in my life.
Don’t get me wrong, I take my job seriously and want to do the best possible work. But in the grand scheme of things, it is a job, the city of Boulder existed before I got there – will exist after I leave (hopefully better off for my contributions) and what is really important in this world are your family and friends – they come first.
So thank you prairie dogs for teaching me this lesson. I love you – I want the best for you – I will always value you – but I love my mom and I love my husband and if I need to worry about something, I will worry about them.