Collaborative Pivoting

Today, we left Sullivan County with mixed feelings. We enjoyed our week camping next to Gary and Judy’s home and were welcome to stay longer, but we have gigs, doctor’s appointments and an auto mechanic in Westchester County, NY. Commuting back and forth just didn’t make sense.

Pivoting has become a specialty of ours. After nearly 30 years as performers and parents, we got pretty good at dealing with unexpected change, but this trip has really taken it to another level. Let’s call it “collaborative pivoting.”

Of course, no couple that I know starts there. Beth and I had some moments over the last 30 years that resulted in days of silence between us. Luckily, we always came back, talked about what happened and added one more lesson to take with us to the next stop. As we got ready to take this trip, some people shook their heads as if to say, “never with my spouse.” I get it. Not everyone has the courage to occupy a dorm-sized, single room with a person who knows how to drive you bananas.

Strange as it may seem, one of our hobbies has always been therapy. We’re growth junkies. I’m being a little bit facetious, but we have spent as much on therapy as other couples spend on vacations and retirement savings. I guess you could call it a hobby, though I just call it “good, common sense,” especially if you want to learn how to pivot gracefully.

We were supposed to spend two weeks at another couple’s house this month, but one of our friends exposed us to Covid and we could not bunk with them. This couple, two wonderful artists and longtime friends are getting ready to take a flight to New Zealand to visit with family, so bumping into two potential carriers like us was not a good idea if they’re looking to board an airplane.

So, we pivoted to stay with Gary and Judy and then re-pivoted to find a new campsite this morning. This is a BIG deal and not easy. We had already experienced two action-packed weeks full of changes and I really didn’t think that I had two collaborative pivots in me. But we did. We are Bierko Strong!

I’m not the kind of guy to go around tooting his own horn, but this ability to feel loved and be loving during difficult transitions is not something that came naturally to either of us. So, I’m gonna say “hooray us” and go to bed tonight with a happy heart.

Here’s a song about keeping relationships healthy!

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