I had just awoken for the day. I immediately looked across the room to see what time it was. The clock read 7:33.

Even though I had not set the alarm, I was so alarmed I immediately was wide awake.

"Oh no," I thought. "I have to get a move on it or I am going to be late for my 8 a.m. meeting."

Since I needed the help of my wife to get to my meeting, I awoke her.

"Sweetheart," I said to her in a tone that sounded like I was on the edge of panic because I was. "We need to get up and moving or I am going to be late for my meeting."

"What meeting?" she yawned

 "My Kiwanis meeting," I replied. "It begins in 20 minutes."

"You’re not going to be late," she sighed. "If we get ready now, you will be about 24 hours early, and I don't think you want to wait that long for it to begin. Kiwanis meets on Tuesday and today is only Monday."

She then rolled over and went back to sleep. Meanwhile, I still was wide awake so I went to the computer and read my daily devotional, worked a crossword puzzle and the daily jumble.

I then went out to get the newspaper, which I could not have done if it was really Tuesday instead of Monday. I read the front page, the sports page, Dear Abby, the comics and scanned other items. I never tried to go back to bed until taking a brief nap in mid-afternoon.

What is written above is not a product of my imagination. It is an actual recounting of the first minutes of my day Monday. It was just the latest example of how the disruption of life as I have known it for almost 72 years has me often forgetting what day of the week it is.

I often have to think twice before remembering what month it is, and I usually have to look on my computer, flip phone or wall calendar to know what day of the month it is. But I have never had any trouble at all remembering what day of the week because there have always been specific tasks I did on particular days of the week. For most of my adult life, that has been going to work at this newspaper, but since my retirement almost six years ago, I have filled my time by going to church, teaching Sunday school, going to choir practice, and volunteering for Community Hospice, the Good News Club at Oakview and the Kiwanis Club.

However, some of those activities have come to a halt during the current pandemic. I have been barred from visiting Hospice patients at Woodland Oaks, and we have ceased having choir practice because we have been meeting in our cars in the church parking lot. We soon will be having service in the church building again, but there is no date set yet for the choir being part of those services.

All these changes have been dubbed the "new normal" by many, but I refuse to use that term because it assumes that we are never again returning to life has we knew it until mid-February. I can't accept that. My wife and I have always enjoyed eating out either with our friends or just each other. I loved eating our with the old men on Friday because it is about the only male companionship I have had since my retirement since I don't play golf, fish or hunt, and I can no longer hike or go camping. I walk a lot, but I am so slow no one wants to talk with me, including my dog who loves me.

In short, I want this "new normal" to become so abnormal that it is remembered as just a temporary bump in the road in life's journey.

The Ashland Breakfast Kiwanis Club, which used to meet at 7 a.m. each Tuesday at the Ashland Area YMCA, had a virtual Zoom meeting on May 12 and this past Tuesday. It was not the same as being together with my friends but it was good to see those participating even though we could not touch each other.

I also have had two virtual doctor's appointments in recent weeks. It was good to talk to a medical professional and at least I knew there was no chance of me getting a shot or being poked somewhere that I did not want to be touched.

Call it the "new normal" if your choose, but I don't want it ever to become the real normal.

Reach JOHN CANNON at johnboycannon@gmail.com.

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