New normal

I’ve lost count of the number of days since the sequester started.  When I consider it, I come to something like 60 days time has a funny way of playing tricks on you when you’re in a situation like this one.  The days don’t really start or stop–same with the weeks and now the months.  Time glides into itself, a ice-skating novice with too much momentum gliding across the ice, daring something to get in their way–daring something to stop them.  

And so are the days.  They effortless glide into each other and after a while you sort of stop counting.  I don’t know how it is for other people–honestly I hear all kinds of things.  Folks who are out of work, folks who have too much work and not enough time.  Folks who are scared.  Folks who are angry, bitter, sad, concerned, panicked and bored and happy and making-do and surviving and content.  It seems like life in the time of Covid-19 is all things to all people so surmizing some form of shared global human emotion through a couple paragraphs on a ill-kept blog doesn’t seem likely but I did want to share one thing that I feel qualified to impart.  My own thoughts on my time in sequester.  

When the stay-at-home order looked imminent, my work did pretty much whatever they could to enable us to work from home.  Some of that effort paid off for some, but not initially from me.  Eventually those initial failures bore more mature fruit and now I’m situated for roughly 90% of what needs doing from an iMac that sits on my kitchen table.  What I found immediately on my first day of true remote work was mind blowing.  Through being able to structure my day fully on my own time-table, I was able to not only complete all of the work that needed doing through the course of what would have been called a normal work day but considerably more.  Not only that but I was also able to take over mentoring Elliot in his school work, clean the kitchen after lunch, folding laundry and finding time to edit Ester and Ella’s essays for their various classes.  The fact that I finally had completely control over not just my work schedule but also my own schedule and could transition from one to the other whenever was needed was a complete revelation.  

After the first remote day I extended my “work” hours from 8am to 11pm continuing to allow myself to drift in and out of the work assignments and home assignments as I saw fit–maximizing my time and fully engaging with whatever made the most sense for the block of time I had open.  I’ve always been fast at what I do–faster than most but with the ability to fully structure my time I found that not only was I constantly two steps ahead of whatever needed doing, but that I was finding all the time I needed to be the father that I’ve always wanted to be.

AM and I have always joked that she should have continued on with her Commercial and Music Video Colorist career when we moved to Los Angeles and I should have stay home with the kids.  She loves being a mother and she’s amazing at it.  But if we had switched than I could have had a moment to be completely engaged with the kids in a way that you never can when you’re away from nine to six every day and often need to work on the weekends.  It’s juts not even the remotest of possibilities.  But flash forward to March in the year of our lord, two thousand and twenty and all of a sudden I’m finally getting to be the kind of father that I’ve always wanted to be.  I’m here for them whenever and however they need me to be.  Need help with your factoring homework, well fuck yes, let’s do that shit.  Need help with your essay on Dutch merchants of the 17th century, well fuck yes, let’s do that shit.  I am making lunches and snacks while rendering between Zoom calls.  I’m teaching Ella how to Ollie while caching 500gigs of DPXs.  I’m making dinner, checking my renders and folding clothes before I watch Bosch season 3 with Ester and AM at 10pm.  All of a sudden my days are twice as long.  I have 48 fucking hours in a day and I get to spend them all with my family.  

I am literally living the dream, because none of it feels real.  It feels completely fabricated in some sleep-induced dream-mill and any second I’m going to wake-up when my alarm goes off right before 6am and I’m going to wish it was real.  Because time is a problem for me.  It’s slipping away.  In fact it’s slipping away so fucking fast these days that I feel like I’m going to blink and I’m going to be 60 and my kids are going to be living their adult lives and AM and I will be alone.  Well, we’ll never be alone really–I suspect Elliot will always be either living with us or living extremely close by, but my other babies are a stone’s throw from leaving the nest and I’ll wonder where the fuck the time went.  Because it doesn’t make any sense.  It baffles me daily and I know I know I know that I sound like some geriatric-bound boomer when I say “oh where oh where oh where did the time go?  They were just babies I was cradling in my arms?”  


It’s all slipping away and slowly, slowly, slowly a thought has metastasized from it’s birth as a small pebble knocking around in the shoe of my mind, to this all-consuming, all-devouring fear eclipsing almost every other though in my mind… that I’ve missed the most important years of my life pursuing career and status and station.  I would lay in bed, sleepless, restless, agitated and saddened wishing that I had made other decisions.  Wishing that I could change what obviously couldn’t be changed.  

And then enter Covid-19 and my second shot at redemption.  All of a sudden I can be the man I want to be.  I can be the father that I want to be and come hell or high water I know that–and it truly feels horrible to say so given that as of today, seventy-seven thousand people have died in America alone from Coronavirus–but I feel truly grateful and unbelievably blessed by the fates to have this time together with my family while we are all still living under one roof.  Have there been moments of frustration?  Absolutely.  Have there been moments of anger?  Absolutely.  But we’re dealing with ALL emotions together, truly living as a group of connect individuals depending on each other, not just for physical needs, like clothing, food and shelter but for our emotional well-being as well.  We love and anger and resolve as a family and many years from now, when whatever has transpired has transpired and we’re living our version of whatever life is at that point, I will look back on 2020 and remember first how grateful I am to have found time with the people I love most in the world, when I though there was no time left.  I’ll look back fondly on this “New Normal” and the moments it gave me and family together.

New Normal, shot on Tri-X 400 +2 with my Leica M7, processed at the Icon

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