When New Becomes Normal
When it comes to coronavirus, it looks like we’re going to be here for a while.
In the six months since we first learned of this virus, and three months since it was declared a global pandemic, much has changed about the way we interact with people, the way we structure our activities and even the way we dress.
However, it doesn’t look like much will be changing soon about those changes. Without a seismic shift in the way scientists understand, and combat, this virus, it appears we’ll be moving from “new normal” to just “normal.”
Our day-to-day life and personal interactions changed dramatically in mid-March as many states across the country began restricting where people could go and how many could gather at one time. The months that followed taught us tough lessons in patience and acceptance.
While something like a global pandemic can do funny things to time, making days seem long, but months short, acceptance of the unknown can feel like a reassuring buoy on the horizon. We just have to be patient about the journey to reach it. While we don’t know how long it will take us to reach it, we do know that it’s there. We don’t know how long this will continue, but we do know that it won’t be forever.
Summer changes the dynamics of some things, but family schedules - without children at summer camp or daycare - may continue to feel fluid with work happening in waves of productivity (and at odd hours) instead of a block schedule. Our work environment - especially those in an office - provides even more things to consider, on top of our tasks, as we calculate the distance between our colleagues (6 feet!), the time we spend talking with them (more than 15 minutes?) and even the most clear route to the restroom.
As we’ve had to restrict our movements, limiting who we see (maybe not grandma and grandpa) and even how we see them (maybe just through a window), it has felt - at times - that we’re losing something or that experiences are being taken from us. Drive-by birthday parties featuring honking car horns have taken the place of blowing candles and thank you hugs.
While these changes can bring feelings of sadness or even despair, remembering to be patient and working to remember that these absences now will hopefully mean many more milestones with everyone – just later.
Large scale events, including concerts and weddings, have been delayed or canceled, but the time to do the little things, like baking or reading, has grown. Maybe it’s more at-home activities instead of on-the-road adventures this summer.
Changing activities is one thing, but enjoyment does not happen without acceptance. Make peace and mentally coexist with today’s reality to allow joy to flow in.