Once, in another life time I was having lunch with my father.  I’d just been laid off and the manufacturing industry I worked in was collapsing with no sign it would ever recover.  He listened, bought my meal, and gave me a new phrase:

“Maybe it’s time for an agonizing reappraisal.”

That phrase pops into my head at times like these and I ask myself is it time for a an agonizing reappraisal?

A global event like this affects the whole fabric of our society.  Structures and institutions are being rocked to their very foundations.

When the skies clear where will we go and what will we do?

I do know that many questions will be asked and how things have been done will change – somethings radically.  I predict that we as a world, nation, state, city, groups, and family, will be entering into a time of agonizing reappraisal.

Personally I’m feeling my priorities changing.  I am among the fortunate who still have a job.  I have family, pets and our garden.  I have a few hobbies and creative outlets.  I still have my faith.

But there are days I wish I could spend more time on my creative outlets – which to me are spiritual acts.  The act of creating something connecting me to my creator.

Time – there’s not enough and as I age I become more aware of the limited time I have in this world.

Years ago – maybe a decade now – I started writing a post-apocalyptic novel with the working title, North and East.  I have a full story in my brain, but lack the time and will I need to finish the work.  I let my day job and other priorities often get in the way.

Now that we are living the opening chapter of my story, I took some time today to read a chapter of what I’ve completed.  I wrote a short prolog for the story about nine years ago as a way to focus myself.  I haven’t decided if it will make the final draft, but today I was taken aback by what I wrote:

The world didn’t explode all at once, but rather it slowly came apart as humans became unable to repair the damage inflicted by war, disease, environmental destruction, powerful natural disasters, and the steady loss of fresh air and clean water.  Terrorist attacks increased and the powerful nations laid waste to hundreds of cities in retribution.  New diseases appeared that medical science couldn’t treat.  Poisoned water and dirty air weaken whole nations.  Crops failed.

Agonizing reappraisal.

Our world will soon start down that path.  People are already wondering what happens next.

And while I watch the news or view the seedlings in our garden I start to wonder if I should start that process.  Should I rethink the kind of work I do?  Should I spend more time at the keyboard? Should I finally buy that sewing machine for myself and take quilting as I’ve told Heather for years I want to do?

Perhaps these were the times my father was really taking about.

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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35 Responses to Reappraisal

  1. George says:

    That’s a great phrase. I wonder how many times you had to read your words before you stopped blinking your eyes and realized what you wrote.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lakshmi Bhat says:

    Life will never be the same again. What your father said makes a lot of sense. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Christi says:

    It must have felt eerie reading that! I hope you will find the time to write it, as it sounds like something I’d enjoy reading.


  4. Your prologue is frighteningly prescient. And I hope that this pandemic spurs an agonizing appraisal for most people — it would be truly sad if it didn’t.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. dfolstad58 says:

    Thank you Andrew for the memory and the phrase. There comes a time for everyone to use it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post, Andrew. I’m really drawn to the phrase “agonizing reappraisal” and see it as something essential and ultimately very hopeful. I hope as individuals, and as communities and nations, we have the courage to follow through on reappraisal and make the painful and necessary changes it leads us to. Or will we scurry to the first thing that offers us faux protection and mindless comfort?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I thought I’d finish my novel when I basically retired a couple of years ago after losing my job which was my agonizing reappraisal. But life, responsibilities, and unforeseen circumstances interfered as it always does. Now what is my reason? Covid-19’s effects on my family. Our 5-year-old grandchild has been living with us for over a month now because of the chances our daughter, a hospital nurse, would be exposed to the virus. And now that has come to pass as daughter tested covid-19 positive last week and is now ill at her home. Another agonizing reappraisal, but honestly, isn’t that just life??

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Terry says:

    I took early retirement two years ago so I’d have time to work on several writing projects. Best decision ever!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is tempting to retire right now and just park in front of the keyboard and finish that book. If the boss offers an early retirement package – it will take half a heart beat to accept.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Reappraisal may be the key activity. I’m not sure what’s going to happen but I’m eager for it to start.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. lorieb says:

    one thing we all have more time for these days is appraisal or reappraisal of our lifestyles. Difficult times do make (most of) us more introspective, the important things in life (hopefully) rise to the top

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Your extract is fascinating, Andrew. Sometimes it is almost as if we have quick flashes of foresight or even prediction when we write futuristic books. Maybe our minds are just able to quickly grab on to the logic conclusion of things we are currently engaged in doing as a species. This seems to be one of those moments.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. pommepal says:

    That is amazing that you wrote that 9 years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Teressa says:

    Well, yes, of course you should buy a sewing machine and become a quilter!!! Because creative acts do indeed connect us to our Creator. But you already know that and practice it with your writing and your woodshop and gardening and who knows what else!
    I speak as one who picked up quilting about ten years ago. And could go on about what a gift it is – part therapy, part prayer and place of meditation, part just-get-away-from-everyday-troubles.
    You’re right about these times and agonizing reappraisal.
    Thanks for another great post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • About a 14 years ago my wife was getting started with quilting and was taking classes at a local quilt shop. She’s been doing it ever since and I some times help her with design – I’m her color consultant and often go with her to buy fabrics. I talked the quilt shop into hold a “men’s” quilting class and we got 5 of us men in there. I pieced together a top that Heather later finished and quilted. I would have continued but with work and my other creative activities I just lack the time. I’ve always said that the day after I retire, I’ll be at the sewing machine store buying one for me.

      Then I’ll work on talking Heather into letting me buy a long arm machine – that looks fun.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Teressa says:

        Good for you! My husband is my color guy. He has an amazing sense of what will work well together. But I haven’t convinced him to try the quilting. He did, however, press fabric for me when I made masks.
        My sister and I looked at long arm machines several years ago. Didn’t spring for one partly because we were both working full time and partly because we didn’t know where we’d keep it.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. PiedType says:

    You sure you didn’t write that yesterday?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Sue says:

    Wow! Your prologue is prophetic. We are living in agonizing times. I like your father’s words. I think we all need to reassess and re prioritize.

    Liked by 1 person

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