Covid-19 cannot continue to be my excuse for not writing. I don’t think any of us thought this would become a way of life. But for now and the foreseeable future, it may be. I’m not fond of the term “new normal.” There is no more “normal.” We need a new word for normal. For me, for now, there’s a “Before” and there will be an“After.” We’re living in the In Between.
Does every day start to feel like Sunday to you, too? Some of us have been living in an endless weekend and we’re over it. So, until the In Between becomes the After, it’s time for us to get going. It’s time for me to get back to following my dreams.
I’m writing a semi-fictional memoir, a memoir as a novel. What I can’t remember, I’ll make up. By fictionalizing some of it, perhaps events will turn out differently. Certainly more entertaining.
I was not raised by alcoholics or drug addicts, or in foster care or a cult. I wasn’t beaten or kept in a cage. In spite of an ordinary, middle-class childhood, I still managed to arrive at adulthood a clueless mess. The biggest challenge of growing up was doing it with four sisters and being completely different than they were.
My story will begin when I became 18 because that’s when life got interesting. I turned eighteen in 1970, a child of the times. I feel fortunate to have been born a member of this generation. The Baby Boomers may not have been the greatest generation, but we were the best. We were the most fun.
I want to embrace my Baby Boomerness – who I am and why I am. Life turned out pretty damn well and sometimes I wonder – how the hell did that happen? My long and whiney road, lined with hilarity, tragedy, misadventures, and marriages, love and hate, and, finally, enlightenment, began fifty years ago. It’s been a wild and crazy trip and it hasn’t always been pretty. I’m ready to let it all hang out.
Years ago a friend gifted me a journal-type notebook called The One Hundred Year Life-Log. It’s structured for recording a person’s life history, beginning to end. Or near end. It allows one to reconstruct their past life quickly and recall memorable events. It permits those who have not kept a day to day diary to go back and up-date their lives. Once a life had been brought up-to-date, it permits the person to keep a running record.
None of us knows when our life-log ends. But I can’t help guessing. I do the math. I’m sixty-eight. I don’t think I’ll have to keep a record running for much longer. Ten years? Do I have thirteen years left? Something like that. This could be the last decade of my life. However much time is left for me, it’s the last leg of this journey.
The idea that anything can happen in the coming weeks makes diving into a creative project all the more important. I can’t do much about what is happening except vote and help where and how I can. I am thankful to have this new project to work on. I can forget what’s happening for a bit while I remember and write about all the days in the Before.
I find myself moved profoundly by the simplest phrases. For instance, I was watching a football game this Sunday, and on a sign in the back of the field were the words Dream Fearlessly. That is how I will go forward, following my dreams – fearlessly. How about you?