View From The Loft: ‘Don’t do nothing stupid’
By Jim Coleman, Special to the Paper
I can’t believe it’s only been a month since I penned my last column. It seems like a lifetime ago.
Before I share my thoughts, I want to encourage you to take care of yourself and your family, abide by the guidelines of the CDC and the local government and as my grandmother used to say, “just don’t do nothing stupid.”
As I try to get some perspective on this situation we are in, I’ve been forced to look back over my life and try to remember what I did and what I learned from past experiences. When I got out of college, mortgages were at 15.75%. I started a career on Wall Street six months after the crash of 1987. I lived through the tech bubble, Y2K, and September 11, 2001. I used to work on the 103rd floor of the World Trade Center so I sat in disbelief and watched my office window fall off the top of the South Tower. I lived through the collapse of the housing and banking industry in 2008 and all the grief that caused.
But what I remember most about that period of time is the birth of my child, participating in local theatre, overseeing the design of my one hundred and twenty-five year old historic church, my daughter’s wedding, the loss of both my parents and the untimely death of my wife. My point is that the newsworthy events pale in retrospect to the course that life takes each of us on. While events monopolize our attention in the short-run, it’s the course of our life that is the important thing. Make sure that events are the punctuation of your life and not the subject of your sentence.
This coronavirus situation will pass. When and how it will affect us, I don’t know. But I do know this; Nothing will ever be exactly the same. And that’s not a bad thing. Things always change after monumental events in society. I got some great advice from my therapist after the passing of my wife. He said to me, “You are expending all your energy trying to make sure that life goes back to the way it was. It’s NOT the way it WAS. Everything is different”.
So while we are sequestered in our homes, let’s read good books, carry on conversations with our family members, call our friends and family to check-in, offer to bring groceries to health care worker, sit outside and enjoy the sun and the flowers and the birds and don’t limit screen time for just the kids. Stay informed but don’t fall prey to the incessant droning of the talking heads on television and social media.
We are all who we are today because of ALL the things that have happened to us, good and bad. This too shall pass. Whatever your source of Peace is, I wish that for you.
And remember, JUST DON’T’ DO NOTHING STUPID!
Jim Coleman is twice retired as a financial advisor and flight attendant. A theatre geek, musician, arts administrator and preservationist, he lived a relatively obscure life until he crossed paths with Corby Winters. Jim chose Newnan as his new forever home five years ago and is dedicated to making our community the best it can be.