Day 5 – New Normal

Photo by Bob Ward on

Yesterday I was full of anxiety and while I am still a pretty anxious person today seems to be the need to script out a new normal. Because I am not sure how we return to normal once this has passed. Too much has been disrupted and this is not like 9/11 or a Hurricane because the need to distance puts emotional space between people. That is hard to get back. Let’s say we find a decent treatment and reduce the number of cases this week by a lot. We then are given the green light to return to normal life. I am still not sure we will all see gatherings the same. Concerts will be less intimate, sporting events – we can watch them from home, and, well we should have banned hand shaking a long time ago. So with that in mind the need to craft a new normal where we are more present even when we can’t be becomes paramount.

Project – Grass

When was the last time you laid in the grass? I have to admit, for me it has likely been a decade or so. And not sitting on the grass on the lawn at a concert or doing yard work. I mean laying out in a field of green, fresh grass. I did that this morning and it was amazing. For most other people who are still in the cold of late Spring green grass may be hard to find but here in Florida it has been hot. Everyday gets near to above 90 and the sun is shining in abundance. There are some theories that is why perhaps we have not had as many COVID-19 infections. While we are not sure how this virus will react when the world warms up if you look at the sunbelt in places like Florida, Texas, and Arizona our infections have slowed quite a bit. Not saying it will be that case forever but who knows anymore. So I stretched out in the grass today and just stayed there for like 20 minutes. It was fantastic. Think I am adding that to my list of to-dos in this new normal.

Album of the Day – Paul Simon’s Graceland

This was the first album I purchased with my own money. I was 13 years old and I used my paper route cash to purchase this one and another album I will suggest tomorrow. Now, Paul Simon and this Graceland album was dad rock the day it was released but I was all about dad rock from an early age. But this was also a masterpiece. From the title track to Diamonds on the Soles of Shoes to the Boy in the Bubble every song is near perfect. Add to it his collaborations with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Linda Ronstadt this is, in my opinion, one of the greatest feats of lyrical arrangement and musical composition. I have had the honor to see Paul Simon four times and he is a masterful story teller and his voice brings reassurance in troubled times. He was asked to open SNL after 9-11 and did so with the song The Boxer and my hope is it will be his voice we hear when we are ready to come back from this.

Topic of the Day – On Moving

Well, we should be moving soon. I know that sounds odd but we put our house up for sale, got a bid we wanted, the inspection has been done and the appraisal too. The buyers are ready. They are putting 20% down and their loan is funded. And then the bottom fell out. We went from packing to packing it in quickly and now we dont know where the deal stands. We think it is going to happen and we may have to push the closing back until this virus subsides but we are also nervous. See, we want to move. We have a four bedroom house and soon it will be just Nicole and I. So we are planning on living in an apartment for the short term before deciding what to do next.

Moving is an odd experience and as an Air Force kid and working in student affairs it is something I have done a lot. It is amazing how much stuff you have that you really dont have much use for. I mean who needs four frying pans? But here we are. And you will also move this stuff even though you dont need it. Your entire life, subjected to your ability to transport them in cardboard boxes. When we move it feels like our lives are exposed for how disposable they really are. With no real sense of place it is easy to just go to the next place perpetually until you retire and eventually are not here anymore.

And this is not supposed to be dark, it is also a happy time. Moving has always represented new beginnings as well. Setting up this empty space brings life to it. You find new spaces to make memories and routines. The new place has an amazing garden tub and a screened in porch. It has a clubhouse where we plan to have Caroline’s graduation party (hopefully), a pool, and I can start laying out again – something I really enjoy doing. But to get to a new beginning we have to end something and this house has been good to us. We got to see Caroline grow up here. And that will always be special to us.

Gen X Moment of the Day – Madonna

To me there is no other artist that is quite as important to the collective identity of Gen X than Madonna. With apologies to Michael Jackson and Kurt Cobain (and we will have posts on them later) but Madonna was the person who decided to define what it was like to be a Gen Xer. When she burst onto the scene she was more than a singer. Her style became a fashion trend for teen girls and quite frankly helped define for boys like me at 10, 12 or 14 to have a picture of what is considered sexy. Her music was controversial and unapologetic in its acceptance of her own desire for sex and the disappointment she found in love. She also brought a business sense to pop music. She showed that art and commerce are linked for most artists. And she evolved. As technology, musical styles, and delivery methods changed she made ground breaking albums, gave amazing concerts, and was also a performance artist.

Stat of the Day – 35 Minutes

That is how long the average American spends in traffic each day. That is three and a half hours you can get back. Do something special with it.

Oh, Insanity update – Pure Cardio is the devil and I hated it. But I am down 5 pounds in a week.

More tomorrow.

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