A New Normal

I feel like I have heard this term more and more lately as I have gotten older. It seems to pop up at every milestone in life. Get married, a new normal. Have kids, a new normal. Each child’s milestone, a new normal. Then there are the new normals that happen unexpectedly. Loved one passes away results in a new normal. Tragic accident which changes your life creates a new normal. All of these moments in our lives all have one thing in common. They all force us into a different way of doing things, but does that make it normal?

What about anything anyone does is normal? What makes the aftermath of this x-factor normal? Life after a more common rite of passage I can see being shuffled in with what society constitutes as normal, but what categorizes the subsequent life we must lead following a tragedy? Who deems the shift in our lifestyles as meeting some societal standard of the status quo?sticker375x360-u2

What follows after an event literally rocks your world and forces you to continue in a different manner than you were before would never be considered normal to the one experiencing it, but somehow, they will follow along to try and make it morph into what the world around them expects to see.

I say, screw it. Nothing about life is normal. Nothing about our existence on this planet is normal. If it were, we’d all be clones without a mind of our own. In all of God’s infinite wisdom, he gave us each our on willpower, thus our own minds, our own feelings and intelligence. I refuse to believe that any response we may have to any life altering scenario could be constituted as normal.

How about instead of trying to classify a reaction, we just support each other’s coping mechanisms and lend a hand to those in need? How about instead of expecting someone to reach some made up standard following such an event, we allow them to reach a place in their lives where they again feel like themselves albeit wiser from the experience?

Normal is such a relative, fake word, devoid of real meaning. Maybe the phrase should just be a new chapter in life, but I guess that is just the author in me.

Movie Review: Deepwater Horizon

If you have never heard of Deepwater Horizon, then my friend, you live under a rock and/or are a vampire. If it’s the latter then I’m glad we’re friends. It was a strange coincidence that my husband and I watched this literally the same week I had a discussion board assignment on the tragedy. There was obvious dramatization to some of it and inaccuracies, but overall I really think this movie was very well done.

mv5botezndu0otgxm15bml5banbnxkftztgwnja0odm2ote-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_IMdB: In April 2010, there is no oil exploration operation in the Gulf of Mexico to compare with the Deepwater Horizon oil rig with its size or sheer depth of its drilling. However, the project for the BP oil company is beset with technical difficulties to the point where the general operational supervisor, Jimmy Harrell, and his Chief Electrical Engineer, Mike Williams, are concerned potentially dangerous trouble is brewing. Unfortunately, visiting BP executives, frustrated by the project’s long delays, order curtailed site inspections and slanted system tests to make up for lost time even as Harrell, Williams and his team helplessly protest for the sake of proper safety. On April 20, the workers’ fears are realized in the worst possible way when the rig’s various structural and system flaws spark a catastrophic cascade of failures that would create a massive blowout and explosion that threatens them all, even as it also begins the worst environmental disaster in US history.

I’m not going to claim any spoilers because as a proclaimed above, the Deepwater Horizon tragedy has been deemed the worst environmental disaster in US history, so you can pretty much guess what happens in the movie. If you can’t, here’s some light reading for you: 100 Days of the BP Spill. I absolutely loved this timeline as it was part of the reading for my discussion board in my Social Responsibility in Business class.

Mark Wahlberg had a great performance in this movie, but let’s be honest, when does he not perform well. I wonder if he spent any time with the man he was casted to play, but if you watched the CSPAN coverage of the Senate hearings on this tragedy, you heard his story already. Mike Williams stood before a selected committee and recounted the night of April 20, 2010 when Deepwater Horizon exploded and 11 people were lost at sea. This courageous man did everything he could to help his fellow shipmates, but this incident could have been completely avoided had BP not been so greedy.

I was a little wary that this movie was going to be a big political circus, but it was honestly just the retelling of a man’s story with a bit of Hollywood dramatization thrown in. It will make you mad, I promise you that, but not for the wrong reasons. The families that have been torn apart by this tragedy, my heart goes out to them still, even seven years later.

It was a great movie to watch, but the idea that these people had to actually go through something like this is crazy to me. It was 2010! How can something like this still happen? I’ve read where they tightened the regulations on the blowout valve to hopefully avoid another tragedy like Deepwater Horizon. Any engineers out there that can create an even better failsafe? I challenge you!