Let’s Get Back to Normal
As our lives are have been disrupted from what we knew as “normal,” I am hearing many people say, “Let’s get back to normal.” or “I can’t wait to get back to normal.” Join me as we explore what it takes to get back to normal.
What is Normal?
Let’s look at what normal is and how we got there. Normal, I think, is what each of us has defined as allowing us to maintain peace and relative sanity in our everyday life. We have crafted our lives to be a series of routines that enable us to feel comfortable. Moreover the comfortability, we often define as “normal” is our normal, whether or not this is actually what our original desires or goals were. Normal is an evolution, and when some type of change happens, it causes our normal to become abnormal or interrupted.
The nomadic lifestyle that Maureen and I live with a mobile business traveling all over the country is normal to us. It is totally whacked in the eyes of our family and a lot of our friends. In contrast, the normal of a 9 to 5 job with weekends off is something we find out of our norms.
Some of us are super happy with how life has worked out and are, or should I say were, on a kind of cruise control. Many of us characterize this as Life is Good or normal. Others of us have adapted to a type of fluid crazy changing flow that we consider normal. So, it’s all good, or a least it was until Covid19 entered our world.
How has Normal Changed?
For so long, our disasters have been isolated in places that weren’t close to us and didn’t affect us unless it did, not to minimize the suffering of anyone that has been through an event like this. Still, they have been on a micro-scale compared to the world itself. As East Coaster’s, we are somewhat familiar with Hurricanes and the havoc they can wreak. Although sometimes these natural disasters or human-made disasters cover very large areas, this time is different.
Covid19 is affecting all of us in some way, all over the world. This global pandemic has created a massive change in record time.
Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with those around the world that are dealing daily with the physical effects of the virus. For many, the pain and suffering that has ensued is unimaginable. For those who are essential and still working every day to keep our world safe, healthy, and operating, we are so grateful and thankful for what our brothers, sisters, neighbors, countrymen, and unknown unsung heroes are doing every day around the world.
In many cases, their normal and the minute by minute challenges they experience are unknown to us and many times inconceivable. Quite frankly, this is causing some who want to get back to normal to add to and sometimes contribute to or exacerbate the issues at hand. Sometimes we don’t want to comply with the authorities on social distancing or travel, and sometimes we share opinions that are hurtful, disruptive, or insensitive.
Business is Changing, can we get back to Normal?
Personally, we look at our business, and we worked our marketing plan super hard last year and had a great tour planned for this year, we were so looking forward to the places it was going to take us, the money we were going to make, the new adventures we were going to have and the time we were going to connect and spend with our family and friends.
We set goals at the beginning of the year, and we were working on them, checking things off the list, staying motivated, focused, and just taking the bull by the horns.
Then, slowly the virus crept into our lives, and then as it grew into this global crisis, it landed right in our lap. Thankfully, we are healthy and have not been physically affected.
In our industry and many others in the world, our businesses and jobs have stopped temporarily and maybe permanently. Going back to work depends on whether or not companies can survive the changes for an unknown time. For those with businesses, some of our enterprises closed immediately. Others are still open are suffering with limited hours and no customers. Some establishments are now overloaded and having to do more business with fewer people while trying to keep everyone safe, which is also majorly challenging.
This is an unprecedented time for most of us. I am not sure anyone really was prepared for what we are seeing. There are some things we were ready for, some of us store food, ammunition, money, off the grid prep and such. I think this multi-faceted attack has evolved and created so many other mini-crisis that it is easy to make our heads swim with the changes. Our normal, the things that we have been taking for granted for years has now changed.
We have in many parts of the world become a society with expectations of what we believe to be normal. Since normal has been massively interrupted on a global scale by Covid19, we are now left with an entirely new thought to consider.
How do we adjust to a changing normal?
Daily routines have changed for all of us. We are experiencing a new lifestyle of social distancing, travel bans, toilet paper, and food hoarding. It is different for all of us and a shock to our system. These fast unanticipated changes can create anxiety, chaos, fear, and opportunity. Sometimes they can keep us up at night. All these feelings are normal in times like these. What do we do with them? How do we let them affect our daily lives? We must consider this. In this world of a 24/7 media blitz, it is easy to let ourselves become consumed, distracted, overwhelmed, and paralyzed with all this information. Don’t be afraid to have an open and frank conversation with your family and friends about how you feel.
Adjusting for me has been in steps and phases. First, it was like WTF!, what about this, what about that? Primal survival mode, where are we going to stay (we are full-time nomads), do we have enough cash, food, toilet paper, what about our kids….?
Then it was like really, this is weird, I’m not busy maintaining our business because we are currently out of business for who knows how long. Most of our preparations for the year were complete until our jobs and events started.
So, what do I do? I can clean and organize and take care of some things which are all needed and useful, but why? The vacation or F…it complex set in. Do nothing. This is the apocalypse, so why put all that effort in, let’s just get drunk. We deserve it, right? We’ve been working hard being good people, good citizens, and everything has still turned to shit. So, let’s get drunk and screw. For a while, this was fun and will continue as part of our routine with some additions.
Now, a new reality is setting in. The what if’s, the fear of the unknown. When will this stop, will it stop, is it a conspiracy, will we ever go back to work, can we do anything else, what if we can’t, what if we don’t have an income, how will we survive, and on and on and on until… Holy crap, man, just stop!
Take a Minute.
Take a minute, breathe, as some would say. Maybe or maybe not, the sky is falling, and the apocalypse is on us. Who knows? Most of us don’t, so what do we need to do?
Again, take a minute. Many of us seem to have more of these minutes now than we used to. If not, we need to find a few. Take an honest look and real evaluation of where we are today, not where we were, or where we need to get back to, but where we are right now.
Are we in this present moment, no matter how weird it seems, are we living right now with what we have?
Are we showing up for ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities? Are we being vigilant and aware and evaluating our circumstances based on reality and not fear, anxiety, and media hype?
We adjust by being present, right here, right now, evaluating what do we have to do today, what do we need to do today and what the action plan is.
There is no Get Back to Normal date
For many of us, when this crisis began, some of us even now, believed that there would be a day, a date, a fixed point in time when this would be over, and we would just get back to normal. Why wouldn’t we? We always have before.
When 911 happened, we were taken aback, but we quickly did what we needed to do to get back to normal. We rebuilt, we remembered, we restored. The same thing happens with wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and the housing crash of 2008. These events, although catastrophic and tragic, only affected a finite number of people for a limited amount of time. Covid19 has affected the world, and all facets of life, even the most basic but vital part of life, the air we breathe, can now kill us.
As I see the enormity of this crisis unfold, for me, the idea of a fixed time to get back to normal is just that, an idea or thought, a memory, no longer a reality.
Normal as we knew it is gone.
Is that a good or a bad thing? Have you taken the time to think about that?
Create a New Normal
Have you taken the opportunity this time provides to evaluate and think about “normal”?
I love this quote and would challenge you to consider it.
In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which
parts of normal are worth rushing back to. -Dave Hollis
I don’t think this is a time to overthink and magnify fears of the unknown. This is the moment to take some dedicated time and consider the possibilities. I truly believe our world is never going to be the same again and “normal” from several weeks ago, is not going to return just the way it was.
The quicker we understand and accept normal is not coming back, and the quicker we adapt to that, the faster we will be able to find peace and comfort in our typical, expected life. This really is what Normal is. Isn’t it?
So now what. Let’s get on with this new life. Let’s accept there is going to be a new normal for a period of time. This time will then eventually evolve into our normal again.
Right now, many of us have an opportunity like no other to move ourselves forward exponentially. To take advantage of our life experiences to date and evaluate what we want from life going forward.
What Normal is important, and what Normal is irrelevant?
Do we really want to return to pre-Covid19 life, if possible, or is this time to evaluate, create, and plan a new and intentional new normal? So many of us always said, “If I only had the time…”. Guess what? Now is that time, today is that day, this crisis may have given some of us a gift to create the life of our dreams if we will only embrace it and get out of our own way. This is a new way to move forward in a new fashion.
Can we saddle our anxiety and fear and turn that into action for a new destiny? Every day further measures are mandated to cause us to be more mindful for reasons of survival. Can we take that mindfulness and, as the threat subsides, corporately band together as the human race? Can we then project this mindfulness into our lives going forward to create better and more fulfilled lives globally?
Can we be more sympathetic to those who are suffering like many of us aren’t? Are we empathetic to those who are in the throws and the hotspots instead of continuing daily rants about our politicians and people who are not acting or reacting the way we think they should? It is critical to be aware and stay vigilant, I agree. I’m not sure it’s so important to be so caustic in our analysis and judgment.
Now is the time to acknowledge that the earth’s global reset button has been pushed and activated. We all have an opportunity personally and collectively to evaluate and reevaluate how to live better lives in this world. Some of us will survive and thrive, and others, unfortunately, will not. Our conscious choices in this time of pause and change will help to dictate that.
What are we thinking?
Are we taking a true inventory of where we are today and where we want to be in the future? What do we want life to look like in a year, in 5 years? Visualize it, see it, imagine it and write it down. The world is not over. It is just changing. Crisis is a breeding ground for new ideas, new life, and new thoughts.
Necessity is the mother of Invention – Plato
Will we seize this day and time, or will we keep attempting to get back to normal? The “Glory Days” Bruce Springsteen sings about.
Let’s remember yesterday is for reflection and a lesson, tomorrow is for planning and hope, TODAY is the time at hand, to live. The time to be here and present in this day right now, doing and taking action at this moment, this is what we have.
If we move forward and take action, I believe we will all come out on the other side as better humans. We’ve got this!