What Is Normal?

Pat Garner

For the last 12 months, we were inundated with new terms and phrases. The term “new normal” seems to be the catchphrase of the year. I have to wonder, what does that really mean?

We’re creatures of habit, and we become comfortable with what’s familiar. In these challenging  COVID  times, we hear “new normal” regularly. I don’t believe this is new or normal. It’s just life.

We’ve become accustomed to seeing news anchors doing their newscasts from their living room. It’s fun to see how people decorate. Now we don’t think anything of it.

Working from home can have its challenges, especially when kids are home too. First, it takes discipline to focus on work and not become distracted with doing the laundry or washing the car. When my boys were younger and home from school, I could always count on some chaos. I worked from home in the early 2000s before it was “normal.” I learned quickly when the kids were home, I needed to change how I worked. They understood when my office door was closed, I was working, and they needed to wait until the door was open to talking to me. For the most part, it worked well. We all adapted, and all was right with the world.

While mask-wearing is highly controversial in my household, I’ve become accustomed to wearing it when I go out and don’t think twice when I see others with their mask. Right now, wearing a mask is no different than wearing a sweatshirt. I’m learning to read eye expressions as cues from others. I’ve also seen some pretty interesting masks out there.

Being in AZ baseball, Spring Training is happening now, and it’s challenging to get tickets for two people due to the reduced number of tickets sold. I didn’t plan well and missed out on buying tickets to watch the San Diego Padres. I turned that lemon into lemonade and purchased the MLB subscription to watch ALL the Padre games I want! All 162 of them!

Changing the way we think about things isn’t easy. Constant negative news appears daily. Whether your medium is TV or online, it’s hard for the brain not to form judgments and opinions. I’m a believer one can find good in any situation no matter how hard it may seem.

Life right now is the way it is. Labels create negativity that gets us all worked up and causes stress. I always remind myself I can only control how I respond to anything. I can’t control events around me, and complaining about them won’t change them.

We need to take those lemons and make the best batch of lemonade that we can. Some days it may be sweeter than others, but the sour can dissolve if we let it. Life changes, and we ebb and flow as the days pass by. Embracing what is will lessen your stress level, and you’ll create a happier you.


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