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The beginning of the end or the end of the beginning

(with apologies the previous version was published too fast)

Father's day, June 20, 2021

I am not even sure what that above title means but as I was driving the other day that phrase sort of struck me in a nonsensical sort of way. I have not written in a long time, for a variety of reasons. One, I sort of ran out of things to say, which did not bode well for me as a quasi writer. Two, I think people got burned out on talking about it, and did not need another voice saying how much people hate masks, are sick of not being able to eat out and miss movies and theater and concerts. One always runs the risk of just being another voice of the same. And of course many of us including people closest to me, got vaccinated. I think that was the start of the end of the pandemic for me and my closest people. I did not necessarily feel invincible but I certainly felt better. I was not that worried about getting sick, hell I did not even wash my hands every time I came home or went out much to some people's chagrin. But I didn't get sick, I must have been doing something right, or just something lucky, or well, let's face it, who really knows?

I started putting together a final piece a few months ago, but it never felt right. I started traveling a lot, Florida a few times, a great trip to DC that was my old haunt, it always feels like home and location wise where I should be. Walking the streets of Georgetown thinking about maybe we could live here, maybe I could buy a place over there. Always a fantasy, if not realistic, or maybe, Things were half open, which was odd, but business and fun was still had. I had also been to Boston to see my kids, both of whom in february, when I went for the first time, were in the last months of school, one grad and one undergrad. But talking about how great my kids are, and how proud I am that they survived this unscathed mentally and physically, seemed again important but also I have been down that road and hell anyone who reads this knows how much I love my kids how proud I am of them both and all that.

Nashville was great last month, I got to see live music for the first time in a year, and almost cried. Really. People were just sitting and listening like they always had, some brand new and amazing four piece country band played, music I don't love but could easily like. It just felt right. Boston for my youngest daughter's graduation was almost transportive at Fenway, I cried walking in and nothing had happened. I am not even sure why I cried I just did. Plus Fenway is amazing. The sense of normality was even at times overwhelming and relieving. We can all do this again, and not have it feel like we are doing something wrong. I even went to Douglas Michigan for chocolate cake, I mean who does that?

So it begs to show, how does one end something like this? And over the last few weeks I was thinking of how I have changed, have I changed? Do I feel differently about myself, my world, my family and friends and others. So I kept taking notes and jotting things down, thinking again who am I know and who was I then? And then a few things happened that made me think even more about this and to think about what have I learned, what kind of person do I want to be and how going forward can I take lessons I have learned earlier and now to be a better person or better to be someone I am happy with.

This may make it sound like I don't like myself which largely is not true. There are parts of me I don't love, parts of my past like anyone I prefer to bury deep. We all hope that events happen that make us better people, better parents better boyfriends or girlfriends. I have spent the last few weeks and the last few days truly trying to reflect on this and have come up with some things to share. You are all free to stop now. This is all sort of self serving.

I want to like myself more and to be better at accepting love. I want to stop thinking the good parts of me are not relevant or simply secondary to the bad. I don't always think about this but a talk with let's just say a professional recently, helped to bring that out. During the pandemic we all pledged, or were told to, to be good citizens, help out, give money, help our sick neighbors, and I think most of us did that, but for me personally I like to fix things, just not myself. Which then leads to hurting people I love, which may sound inconsistent but it's true. I hate hurting people, and in doing my best not to hurt people I hurt them. How's that for a dichotomy? And in that same vein to accept a compliment, sometimes we deserve them and did good.

I have learned that there is honesty and honesty. Not when you tell someone the tights they are wearing really are not a good idea, but just being transparent and not letting people who are close to me really know me, I am me, flaws, mistakes, history and all, good or bad, it is easy to compartmentalize things, but that just doesn't work.

Be a good citizen, I try to be anyway, but sometimes it feels cursory. I need to do better, to expand to the larger world, to do more to make society a better place. I look to the people in the past year who truly devoted their lives sometimes to the point of illness or death, and think about what I am doing to leave a legacy behind, to make my kids someday at a funeral think and say I hope, that this is who my dad was and make them as proud of me as I am of them now and to have my wife, my family, my friends think back through flaws and all that I led a good life. There is an old Greek saying about how to judge a life, and to look at a life as whether the person had passion, I have been lacking that, not on purpose, but i have felt like I am floating through, I don't want to do that anymore.

The pandemic I think changed all of us, whether we care to admit it or not. We look at the world now through colored glasses, rose or otherwise. I think where we thought we would be immune to this type of event we see now we are not and that we can take good and bad from it internally, learn from it and just be better people, learn from it and laugh some, maybe a cry a bit too . And keep making the our little world better.

Thanks for reading to those who have.


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