The Planned “New Normal”

These are strange times.

The world is in the midst of trying to straighten itself out in the midst of a pandemic. People are clamoring for what was, or at least some small version of it. People are eager to embrace a “new normal.” So am I.

Funny thing is, this was going to happen with or without the Coronavirus. My world has shifted. Chapter Two has begun. For all intents and purposes, I’m not a cop any more. It’s time to embrace the world of the semi-retired music journalist. How does THAT work? I’ve spent more than a little time mulling this over. I believe I have finally come up with a proper vision.

I’ve lived in a world of structure and regimen for a very long time. Straying from that is proving to be hazardous, at best. Nothing productive in my world happens at random. And so the new world is geared primarily around these simple principles:

  1. WALK. I need to exercise. I live across the street from a park. The math pretty much does itself. Strolling for a couple of miles should help clear out the old brain pan and give me a good idea of how I want to attack the day.
  2. LISTEN. As long as I’m out there, I may as well listen to some of the new music being sent my way via various sources. This seems like a good way to internalize some of my reviews before I commit them to paper,so to speak.
  3. READ. Between five magazines and at least five web pages, I am in a position to learn a LOT about music and musicians on a daily basis. I like the idea of a world where I can enjoy my breakfast over a few headlines and features. One can only imagine what will come up that day.
  4. RESEARCH. The Bernie Worrell biography will be all-consuming. When it isn’t, I’m just entering the main foyer of the amazing world of All Things Music. There will always be something to look up. There will always be relevant music to listen to, or a relevant archived interview to examine. And there will always be someone to interview. Did I mention the spreadsheets? It’s a good thing I enjoy doing research.
  5. WRITE. One the facts are in place, it’s time to convert them to words. Writing will come in many forms, but there will always be some of it to do.
  6. LISTEN LIVE. Granted, this one is up in the air right now. But the plan (particularly after the move) is to find myself at four or give gigs a week. Someone established, someone up and coming, or someone new … it doesn’t matter. Just BE there, and listen for what comes.

There will be variations on these themes, of course. And I plan to live a life outside of music that will include golf, friends, and a part-time job. But with the six-steps above as my primary guide, interesting things are bound to occur. It’s not the life I’ve known, to be certain. Not even close.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.



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