71. The five year question

Saturday August 1 2020

Imagine yourself back in August 2015 and someone asks you “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

Betcha you didn’t see yourself navigating through this perfect poopstorm of a year, did you?

Of course, nobody saw this coming. Even if we were somehow warned, we might have merely shrugged it off as highly unlikely. Some are still struggling with how real it is.

So, here’s what I’m curious about. There are people out there claiming the pandemic to be politically driven, especially since it occurred during our US presidential election year. Sure, they say, coronavirus is a thing, but all this mask-wearing and commerce shut-down is overplayed to put a black mark on our current administration. It’s being predicted that after November, when the election is over, we’re going to see things go back to a more normal status pretty quickly. Schools will be back in session, we hear. Stores will reopen and people will be able to go back to their jobs, putting the unemployment rate back to where it was in February. We can travel freely to wherever our wanderlust takes us. The coronavirus will still be with us, but it will be recognized as no worse as the common flu and managed as such.

I don’t know how to even deal with this line of thinking.

Sure, things will get better as we move through time. Nobody is denying that. People who have survived COVID will build an immunity and if we continue social distancing as a global effort, we can continue flatten the curve. But to say that the economic hardships imposed on US citizens over these past few months are an organized political undertaking?

Yeah, no.

Honestly, give me a historical example of any other massive change that our government has made happen in such a short time period.

So as I consider how long to keep a COVID-19 related journal, I’m committed to keep a watch on things post-election. Seriously, I want to get to the other side of where we are, but I don’t think these portents of a quick recovery are right on this one.

We’re already fatigued. People are ready to move on. This is apparent wherever you look during this busy summer. We crave normalcy and to own our freedom again, so much that denial of the situation is setting in.

So what life path were you on in August 2015?

I had taken an early retirement package from P&G in early 2015 after 21 years of faithful service, liberating me to begin one of the best years of my life.

I entered a fiction piece into a writing competition for the first time ever and somehow managed to win the thing. And then back to school full-time to score new skills in digital marketing. I gave it the good old college try before being hit with a reality sledge hammer when I realized getting a gig in this field was a young person’s game, no matter how badly I wanted it. No matter. Still a powerful add to the toolbox.

Then in August, I started a new job with a small business that I thought was assistant to the CEO, but spoiler alert, it wasn’t. Still, I was glad to find a job where, as my LinkedIn profile stated, I could “utilize my broad skillset.” Stuck it out there for nearly four years with a fast-forward to August 2020, where I’m now working two part-time jobs and loving them both.

Best part, though? I have the flexibility to continue puppy raising for an assistant dog organization, a volunteer gig I started in 2010 while working in a dog-friendly office at Eukanuba headquarters.

Because this is truly what gets me up in the morning.

Meet Neptune, our eighth puppy to raise for Canine Companions for Independence (www.cci.org)

Right. Every morning. At about pee o’clock.

Worth it.

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