Sunday, October 11, 2020

What Is Normal?


In a lot of households around the world this question is being tossed around. What exactly is normal? The statement made by many is that they can't wait until this pandemic is over and things return to normal. So I ask:  What is normal? 

First of all, let's get the actual definition of normal. In the dictionary the adjective normal means conforming to a standard: usual, typical, or expected. So when one says that they can't wait to get back to normal, I believe that their bubble is going to burst when they discover the 'normal' that we all once had will be  changing. It is continuing to evolve even now. 

New phases of reopening are slowly taking place. However, so much has happened with COVID-19 lurking around every corner all around the world that our normal will be different. Facing the uncertainty is always a difficult thing for us. The only way that I can see myself and others that I talk to getting through what is happening is to focus on things that we can do. We are in control of so much. It is part of human nature to let our brains take over and bring in the drama. This is when I have to have some straight talk with my brain.

Allowing myself to realize that I miss going out shopping or out to eat with my husband, family and friends. Not to mention planning trips, going to the movies, seeing our children and grandchildren. It is ok to feel sad about missing all of these things and more. The important thing is to not dwell on this negativity. Yes, it is there and being sad and moping around about it is not helping at all. Instead, I have been working on focusing on things I can do to manage. 

The more that I understand and realize that we will have a post-COVID world at some point, now is the time to figure out ways to continue to creatively acclimate to a new way of living. 

There will be new rules. For now, everyone should be wearing a mask and social distancing. No large gatherings should be taking place and I look to some of the ways I can still enjoy life and have fun. The sooner that we learn new ways the better off we will be. Organizing household closets and drawers, picking up a new skill such as painting, playing an instrument or learning a new language are ways that can bring you joy and happiness. It is not all gloom and doom, even though our overly dramatic brain (and unfortunately some people) would have you believe that. Have that talk with your brain and be firm. Help others out who may be having a tough time plowing through all of 'this stuff' that is going on. Kindness can help. Being there with a text, an e-mail, a real snail mail letter or a phone call can help others, as well as being good for your own emotional well-being. 

Some entertainers are putting on virtual performances streaming on TV. The Emmy Awards and The Country Music Awards were hosted virtually. I for one, thought it was even better than live with an auditorium filled with the stars. It was like a great big Zoom meeting with only the host on stage. Presenters and the winners were put up on screen from their own homes or locations. Other entertainers have been performing on a stage at Drive-in Movie parking lots. 

Things will be different. We all need to take a chill pill and adjust, adapt and this will help us all survive when the post-COVID world arrives. Parents that are working from home, along with being with their child working on a computer in a virtual classroom have been adjusting their views on teachers. It is a hard thing to teach. Especially while you are trying to run a meeting from your virtual office. 

Halloween is coming up and going door to door dressed up in a costume, saying, "Trick or Treat" to a stranger and accepting candy is most definitely a thing of the past. In reality, in previous years it had slowed down some, basically out of safety for the children. More schools were having Trunk or Treats in the school parking lots. Maybe with a lot of careful planning, this could work following the CDC guidelines. I am sure there are those working on it.

We have family who live a day's drive away so for Thanksgiving and Christmas, there have been years that we all could not get together. We FaceTime being together and opening gifts on holidays and birthdays. I am so grateful that if we can't be together that we can enjoy seeing each other through technology. 

It really is OK to have moments where I feel like everything is awful as long as I don't forget everything that is amazing. Think of what you are grateful for. This morning as I was dressing for the day, my eldest granddaughter sent a text with a sunshine emoji and the words, "Hi. Good morning!" 

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