Maybe You Shouldn’t Rush Back To Normal
I don’t need to tell you about the COVID-19 crisis. I don’t need to remind you about how it’s affecting everyone on the planet and that it’s scary and that it’s terrifying to all humans. I don’t need to tell you about the people dying and the ones who are out of work and those who are just having trouble navigating this uncertain time.
There’s a lot to read about the coronavirus — there’s a whole section about it on Medium, too.
But, aside from the fear and the dread and the uncertainty — a word that I keep hearing a lot is “normal” — when things return to ‘normal’ when life resumes as ‘normal’ when we live life as ‘normal.’
It’s a word that somehow has become shiny and pretty and put up a pedestal.
Recently I stumbled upon a great quote by Dave Hollis that says, “In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.”
If a quote could slap you in the face, that one might be it.
What is the normal that we’re missing? Yes, I get it. We miss the normality of school and work, and hugs, and drinks with friends, and going to public places. Nobody is disputing that. But are there things to carry with us as we move forward from this crisis, and perhaps, are there things to leave behind? Is it a crazy thing to say that maybe you shouldn’t rush back to normal?
Maybe normal was too many hours spent on your phone, losing yourself in news articles, and Facebook rants, and the lives of other people whom you don’t actually converse with in real life, and yet, are “connected” to on social media.
Maybe now you call the people that you love — perhaps you FaceTime them, too. Perhaps now you put in the effort to cultivate the relationships and friendships that you love. Maybe you should carry that with you, also.
Maybe normal was over eighty hours of week at the office that took you away from your spouse or your partner and your kids. Perhaps your home was not a place of respite — but only a place to lie your head, and bathe, and, well, that’s it.
Maybe now you enjoy dinner with your family. Perhaps you even sit around the table, too. Maybe this new working from home schedule has taught you how to balance things a little bit better — and when it’s time for dinner, you are present. You are there. You listen to questions, and you ask them, too.
Maybe normal was spending Saturday morning, burrowed deep in blankets on your couch, watching way too many hours of Netflix, ignoring the blue sky and the sunshine outside. Maybe you didn’t leave your home because you were too tired, or too busy during the week, or because it was just easier to stay on your couch.
Maybe now your favorite tune is what the birds sound like outside your window. Perhaps you have made it a habit to go on daily walks by yourself, or with your family, or a combination of the two. Now you know your neighborhood — and you know your neighbors. The rhythm of your movement is what grounds you and helps you stay in tune with your loved ones, too.
Maybe your normal was thinking that you and your loved ones and the place you call home was somehow untouchable. Perhaps you clung to the belief that bad things happened in other areas of the world, but they didn’t come to your town or knock on your front door. Maybe you read the news and thought, that’s sad for them, but it’ll never happen to me. It’ll never happen to us.
Maybe now you know better. At least, I hope you do. Perhaps this has made you think about the world on a larger scale — and even taught you something, too. Maybe now your ego has shrunk a bit — and you realize that a person’s worth is not akin to their profession or paycheck. Perhaps now you know that there are particular pains that nobody can hide from, that something like a virus doesn’t discriminate. Maybe your new normal is not only caring about your loved ones — but the ones hurting that you have, and will never meet. Perhaps you include them in your nightly prayers. Maybe you even find ways to give from what you’ve been given, too — for now, your heart cares more.
Maybe that’s your new normal — maybe you should carry that with you.