There was a time in my life when the phrase “Adapt and Conquer” meant nothing more to me than a strategic plan a football team constructs during half-time adjustments. As time has forced me to dutifully march along (like it or not), thoughts relative to my becoming adaptive with any regularity have since flooded my skull.
Initially, any form of forced change to a regular routine can be very unsettling. We tend to all be creatures of familiarity, comfort, and consistency. Add a little wrinkle of “the unexpected” in the fabric of normalcy, and you suddenly have the stuff of frustration, uneasiness, and angst. Just ask the marketing folks who launched “New Coke” back in the day for further feedback on this behavioral phenomenon. Today so much has changed in our daily lives due to this virus. Nothing is the same.
Behind the wheel, recent visual images of daily life all around me have lent a contemporary context to the phrase as well. Not so much the conquer aspect of it, but certainly the word adapt, now has a slightly richer meaning for me in the wake of COVID-19. One only needs to find sixty minutes alone in an automobile driving the back-country roads to nowhere in particular to see this new phenomenon.
Driving along listening to my LMix11 playlist, the music surrounding me acted as my very own tunnel of sound to constantly feed my two-ear -addiction while sitting there purposefully plodding along. Not really seeking to find anything, a changing society seemed to play itself out on the moving canvas before me.
A high school campus eagerly accommodated some older students as they attempted to learn with grass under feet, spaced six to seven feet apart, taking up a much larger amount of space than normally needed to feed these modified classroom brains. It is now what they do, spaces within the facility are at a social distancing premium. Heaven forbid you eat lunch sitting with a friend right now, it cannot happen. The kids perch alone in each of their respective space bubbles within the cafeteria.
There was once a time not so long ago if you ever considered walking into a convenience store with a handkerchief or mask on your face, a silent alarm was immediately pressed in proactive fear. The covered faced person was quickly met with force; complemented by lights, sirens, and a new set of bracelets. Not today, however.
After having forgotten to put my mask on over my mouth and nose before entering – I was quickly asked to leave, and “cover-up”. Only then, could I walk on in without any worry of ever being recognized had I actually been of bad intent, and no one would have batted an eyelash. Truly we have entered the bizarro world!
A crowd gathered outside of a medical building whereby people received a “check-up” before being allowed to go in to have a consult with a doctor for their annual “check-up”.
Just down the road, a man holding a sign reminding us all to vote for “real change” seemed to be asking for a bit too much… all things considered. Not sure we need any more right now. None of us know what lays around the next bend of uncertainty. And we need more of this?
It would appear the only constant to last year at this same time, would be the turning color of the leaves all around me.
In 53 years of life, I saw my first completely black squirrel this week, anything is possible right now. Even a home-selling market breaking all-time sales records amidst all of this “resetting” madness.
Who the hell knew what we were in for when the ball dropped last year? Certainly not this author. But then again, I thought it would be still a good idea to launch my first book this year in the middle of a global pandemic. “Adapt and Conquer”… kicked my ass on that one too.
Just don’t try and ever convince me football stadiums will be empty, parking lots void of tailgaters and games would have to be watched on drive-in movie screens instead of in-person. Or, a proper greeting would take place without a hug, handshake, or kiss. This is all just too much to accept.
And… if anyone ever tries to sell me on these crazy notions, my response to them might be: “ yeah right, this will happen when the US Mint actually has a national coin shortage, and when Tom Brady is no longer a New England Patriot.”
Oh wait, this is still 2020 – silly me. It’s all real.
As I conclude this blog post, It suddenly seems appropriate to enjoy some David Bowie. You may know the song I’m about to celebrate in my two inner hearing spaces. It speaks a lot about this kind of stuff. How completely appropriate.