Looking for "normal"

Updated: Jul 1, 2020

It's been two months of quarantine. Two months of online school, indoor activities, and wondering when things will get back to "normal." Except, I don't think there will be a normal to go back to. We're going to have to figure out a new normal and no one really seems to know what that looks like right now. I sure don't.

This whole experience has been surreal. I mean, it's not like you can plan for something like this. We all had other plans this year. I know I did. All those plans and expectations either got put on hold or disappeared altogether. There were days I just didn't know what to think. How do you make plans in the middle of a pandemic? What do you tell people when you really don't know when you can go out, go to work, or even think about vacation?

Our family had to figure out how to be with each other for long stretches of time. We figured out how to organize our days, how to give each other space and what mattered most to us. Do the kids still fight? Of course. It would be weird if they didn't, but they don't fight as often as I had expected.

But as they say, life goes on. My kids are still growing taller, spring is warming up into summer and birthdays are still being celebrated (although a bit more privately than before). I find some comfort in this. It helps me remember that this will pass too. Will it leave it's mark? Absolutely. But, it will pass and when it does, we'll have to decide how we want to live our lives going forward.

Do we live in fear? Or, do we get creative and roll up my sleeves to solve problems? I've seen so many fellow Moms reaching out to help each other. Brave women who were willing to ask for help and receiving amazing support, offers and helpful tips from their community and strangers they didn't even know.

Do we regard others with suspicion? Or, do we reach out to my neighbors to make sure everyone is taken care of? Now more than ever, there are a lot of people in very difficult circumstances. They may even be as close as the family living next door. If all of us gave a little of our time, effort, food, talent or whatever else it is we have to give, we can make a huge impact for those who need the help. It's all those little things added up together that make a big difference.

Are we quick to judge? Or, are we going to regard others with some compassion and remind ourselves that our assumptions are rarely accurate? Each person is experiencing this global disaster in a different way and who am I to make assumptions about their life based on one moment in time? Let's give each other a bit of grace, because tomorrow, it could be me having an awful day.

In all the fear and confusion this pandemic has brought with it, it's also given me pause to sit and really think about what it is I do value and what I really want out of life. It's taught me to be content with less, care for my loved ones a little bit more and cherish the time I've been given with them. I've sorted out what I don't want in my career, where I want to go in the future and my why for moving forward.

I don't know what the "new normal" will look like, but I like to think I have a bit of control of that for myself and my family. I can take the lessons and experiences from this and make something out of it. I can extend grace to those around me who need it, support to the people I can help, and think outside the box to move forward. Normal may take some time getting here, and as history tells us, when it does get here, it's likely to change again and again.

So for now, I'll wait for normal while holding onto my family, my faith, and my hope for the future.

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