It’s impossible not to wonder if someday we’ll look back and say, that was the day the world ended. Well, okay, not ended, because if it were really all over, we wouldn’t be around to be looking back. But changed. Became a dramatically different place, for now and forever.

I think I’ve felt since 9/11 that someday we would go back to normal. Whatever normal is. But I’ve definitely thought that a normal existed that was peaceful, not scary, sort of consumed by the trivial and certainly extremely comfortable.

I’m wondering whether now maybe that world is simply gone. When I visited Seattle this spring, I discovered that Jeremy was of the doomsday camp. He believes that there will come a time when guns are necessary to defend his family and maybe even that stockpiling antibiotics is a smart thing to do. I believed that we’ll figure it out; that we’re smart people who have managed to overcome adversity and cope with change again and again and again. But now I’m thinking maybe I want to buy some antibiotics and store them in the freezer. Historically speaking, empires fall. Did the Romans know it was happening when it was happening? Did they realize as their plumbing failed that maybe it was going to be gone for a lot longer than they could imagine? Did the dark ages start off slowly or all at once?

For years I’ve thought that even though my stocks have done nothing (and I do mean nothing, with a capital N), I should just be patient and wait, someday the market would start fulfilling the promises of my youth. But I’m not young anymore and I don’t have another decade to wait.

And meanwhile, of course, there’s plenty of food in the house, money to pay the rent for this month and the next, and work to do tomorrow morning and throughout the week. So maybe I’m wrong and the comfort goes on. But I’m going to try to be sure and appreciate the sunrises over the next few days.