Pivoting (Again)

It’s been a while since my last post. I rebooted the blog after months of inactivity, determined to tell a story about the transition from Act II (that long period between college and retirement) into Act III (what comes after the career). I planned to write about the rewards and difficulties of being independent, free to choose how to spend my time. Some of that will show up in future posts. But I have lost interest in the storyline I was pursuing.

It’s been three and a half years since I left my former career. I’ve spent a lot of time exploring the past, how I got to where I was when I left the oil industry, how I ever came to be employed by an oil company in the first place. I’ve written more than 100,000 words of what would have been a memoir of Act II; now I am kind of tired of living in the past. Maybe this is one of the outcomes of being retired. I much prefer to live in the present.

I still want to write, and a blog is one of the mediums I want to use. Unfortunately, the present is mired by the CoVid-19, the first global pandemic since the Spanish Flu in 1918. We probably all know the statistics. As of this writing there are more than twenty-five million cases and 850,000 deaths. In the United States, where I live, there have been six million cases and approximately 185,000 deaths. These statistics are beyond anything I could imagine in modern times, but they don’t tell the whole story. The virus has disrupted lives; work, school, entertainment, sports, travel and even mental health. And sadly we don’t know when we will return to normal and what normal might look like.

Enough of being a real bummer. You all know those numbers. You see them on the TV or hear them on the radio and the virus dominates our conversations. My middle daughter doesn’t want to hear anything about the virus. As negative as it has been, some positives have come out of this period. During lockdown I have spent time with my daughters that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I have read, listened to music, exercised, cleaned the house and yard to ridiculous levels. I’ve also explored some creative interests I only dabbled in before.

Others are doing it too. I started listening to The Corona Diaries, a podcast with Steve Hogarth, the lead singer for Marillion, and Anthony Short. I don’t think their project was on the books until they were locked down and found they had time. I also started listening to Steven Wilson and Tim Bowness’ The Album Years, a podcast that explores albums released during calendar years from the mid-60s to the early 2000s. Neither podcast is about the coronavirus; they are creative works created as a result of the pandemic.

Six months in to this crisis, with an uncertain amount of time remaining until we reach some sort of new normal (whatever that looks like), I’ve decided to write about the experience that this one person is having in such an unprecedented time. I’m probably one of many doing the same thing, but maybe my experience can I add something to the collective experience.

So that’s where this blog is headed. I said I wanted to live in the present, but I am going back to the start of this whole thing and make posts to bring the blog to the present, then write the continuing saga as this virus and lock down and the march towards a new normal continues.

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