Strange Days

Melissa is the Beatle fan(atic) in the family but I’m borrowing from the lyrics of her Fab 4 Fav, John Lennon, with this post. “Nobody told me there’d be days like these…” Nobody told us, because nobody (or well, only a few) imagined how 2020 would progress. So, here we are carrying on while the world changes in many ways. Melissa and I are normally out and about, on the road, in town, out of town, going to concerts, and working odd hours. We’ve always enjoyed the variety our jobs as trial consultants bring us. Instead, for the last few months, the days blur, we get up, go to the office/work, come home, cook dinner, repeat. As normal as that is for many people, it is not our normal. As I talk with clients, colleagues, friends and family members, all are confounded by these strange days. It is not just the pandemic, but also a contentious election, civil unrest, workplace disruptions and nasty weather patterns. It is exhausting, mentally and physically. The fatigue is palpable. Some days are worse, or stranger, than others. There are too many unknowns. Nobody knows where these things will lead. A Facebook friend posted a query to her friends asking what they are doing to cope – hundreds responded. I have to remind myself that others feel the stress as much as I do. I’ve found it helps to talk with others, if only to commiserate; it helps knowing one is not alone. Change is making reinvention important for many people. Attempting to find the positive in all the negatives is difficult. It is rare, thankfully, that the world is in turmoil “together” on such a scale. As John Lennon continued, “strange days indeed.” All I can say is hold on for the ride, and reach out to others for comfort and to comfort them.

I’m thrilled to read David’s quote from a John Lennon song, “Nobody Told Me,” released posthumously in 1984 on the “Milk and Honey” album.  At the time the song was written (1980), John Lennon is said to have believed the world had lost its course.  John Lennon was murdered in 1980 but, had he lived until now, I wonder what he would have thought about the direction the world has gone in 2020?  Who would have thought we would be living in perilous times, with a return to peaceful demonstrations and not so peaceful rioting during a worldwide health crisis we have never before experienced?  Has the whole world gone crazy or does it just seem that way to me?  As everyone who knows me will acknowledge, I have always been  “different” from the average person.  Someone told me that recently, and although it was meant to be insulting, I thanked him and said, “I sure hope I am different than most people!”.  But, people, such as me, who have always been a little “off kilter” are now noticing that other people, who were seemingly normal (whatever that means) are now becoming a little stranger with every passing day.  According to the America Psychological Association, mental health crises are at an all time high, and based on my observations and professional judgment, I believe the long term effects of prolonged exposure to multiple negative events are taking a toll on everyone. From the abject loneliness of senior citizens trapped in nursing homes, to underprivileged children not being able to learn in an online educational environment, to people who intentionally walk the wrong way in grocery store aisles, refusing to obey mask wearing laws, and breathing with their mouths wide open, we have been transformed from a world where people co-existed in peace to a volatile time bomb just waiting to explode (and don’t get me started on politics!).  Yes, John Lennon wrote those lyrics 40 years ago, but they ring true today more than ever.  “Most peculiar, mama…”


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