“It is normal to give away a little of one’s life in order not to lose it all.” Albert Camus
As the weather gets warmer and businesses start to reopen for the first time since mid-March, it’s time to start finding your normal again. Anytime we are presented with change, we must endure a time of transition and only after doing so, can we settle into our new “normal”. I’ve been thinking a lot about this for obvious reasons, and I think that’s been one of the wonderful and positive things to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I feel 80% of my life is completely normal.
J. K. Rowling
Despite what may happen in the future (whether we will see this virus again shortly or not), I don’t know if it’s simply the weather change or the fact that in my state, things are supposed to start opening back up in just a couple weeks, but it does feel like we are at the end of this tunnel. So, I’ve been taking a lot of time to simply reflect. I keep asking myself, “what does finding your new normal look like to you?”. The reason I keep wondering this is because I don’t think things will simply just snap back to the way they once were. In fact, I hope that they don’t.
There are a lot of positive and negative aspects to the experience we’ve all been sharing globally, and I know that I have been incredibly fortunate throughout this entire process. This sickness has not directly touched the lives of those I love. I still get paid to do my job from home. So, for me, it’s been a predominantly positive experience. I feel safe in my home and get to be with people I love. So, it’s been, I think, easier for me to see the positive sides to this, simply because I haven’t endured much struggle first-hand. Now, that doesn’t mean that I don’t understand the hurt, disrupt and pain it also causes. I read about people dying every day. I see it on social media and through various news outlets. So, while I may not personally experience those situations myself, I’m not turning my back to it either. Despite what your experience may be, you may be asking yourself what comes next. How do I find my new sense of what’s normal now?
Let’s embrace being not normal!
For me, I have a lot of hope. I feel as though the earth has seen some improvement overall. Pollution is down simply because we aren’t driving or flying as much, and manufacturers are not likely all operating as though they were before, and this is a huge win! We also pollute the planet with our words, treatment and action towards ourselves and others, and in my experience, I feel like many around me have been kinder to one another, choosing to take a more gentle approach in light of all the chaos that surrounds us. From a basic hygienic perspective, people are worrying more about keeping themselves and their surroundings clean (also another win for us all)! So, when I say that I hope things don’t just snap back to normal, I mean it because of all the great practices we’ve been partaking in as a response to the pandemic.
In the wake of all this hope that I feel, there is also a sense of dread that comes with it. I’m afraid that we will go back to our old ways. We are creatures of habit after all and we’ve created a lifestyle that believes it thrives on consistency. It is my hope that we do our best to remain aware. Aware of the way we treat others and ourselves. Aware of how we treat our planet. I have also just genuinely enjoyed the lack of traffic, along with trips to the store where only limited amounts of people are allowed in at one time. It makes my surrounds feel more peaceful. I feel like people are moving more slowly and therefore, are more capable of being mindful and aware. That, to me, has been the beauty in all of this.
There is one hope I have that I think will emerge positively, and it’s that we are now more equipped and prepared for the future of viruses. Every opportunity or struggle that we face allows us to learn how to be better. I’m so grateful for this time. It hasn’t been easy, and much has been lost, but I do my best to focus on what we have now, and simply go from there. What would you like your new normal to look like? What are your hopes? What are your fears?