The company that I work for in Florida shut down one day in March 2020 with a single email from our corporate office. The email announced that due to the corona virus outbreak, our local office would close, until further notice. All employees were told to work from home until otherwise instructed. It was a short email and it said that further directives from corporate would be forthcoming. In a conference call with management a day or two later, we were told that the closing could last as long as two to four weeks.
Should I go on?
Today, as I sit in my home office, I think a lot about the past year and a half. Now as businesses are starting to open, travel restrictions are being lifted, and employees are being redirected from dining room tables back to corporate cubicles, I think of the past year more in a blur than anything else. Will we return to normal, I mean, completely normal anytime soon? In doing a bit of research on this question, I came across something that seems to fit well with some of the time use/management/ topics that I have been writing about on this blog the past few weeks. I am talking about post-pandemic remorse.
Post pandemic remorse is a feeling many people are experiencing which is akin to guilt. Guilt over squandering time. Time which had been awarded them to produce, to create, to do something they have always wanted to do. Now many are feeling that they have wasted this ‘gift’ of time. They are thinking that this negative pandemic experience should have been parlayed into something positive. They are thinking that they should have written that screenplay, novel, or deeply researched non-fiction essay. Maybe they should have become certified in something, learned a new skill, mastered something…anything.
As I look at my own, incomplete, novel, I am tempted to fall into the pandemic remorse trap myself. I mean, with the restaurants all closed, what did I have to do but write a best seller?
But maybe we are being way too hard on ourselves. Maybe our desire to achieve and create needs a reset. Maybe on the other side of this whole pandemic lies fallow soil in which to plant. Do we really need a worldwide shutdown to inspire us to sit down at a keyboard and write something we want to write? Is our time such a commodity that we need rely on global disaster to access it?
How about you? Are you dealing with pandemic regret? Or were you far too busy coping with this worldwide disaster to consider self improvement?
This afternoon as I was writing this, I was listening to a fine song that I hadn’t thought of in some time. It is a song by Chuck Mead called “On a Slow Train to Arkansas”. It is a great song to listen to if you want to forget all about post-pandemic remorse. It is also one of the few songs that I know that talk about Arkansas.
Yeah, I know… how about “Uncle Elijah” by Black Oak Arkansas, so don’t go there.
But Slow Train is a great song so I will leave a link to it here.
Thanks for reading…