When Things Get Back to Normal...
Happy Sunday Educators! I hope you and yours are well and that you continue to find something that brings a smile to your day. So…how did the laughter go last week? Were you able to intentionally add a bit more to your life? No? Not a problem. Tomorrow begins anew with a fresh opportunity for you😊. If yes…congrats and keep it going! If you have no clue what I’m referencing, check out last week’s blog about the importance and benefit of laughter and challenge yourself to increase the amount in your life.
Onto new material. Last week a few states started lifting their shelter in place orders and many have begun to venture out into civilization, hoping to return to a sense of normalcy. One image I saw recently showed a nail salon with a line outside the door. They were only letting two individuals in at one time. It caused me to wonder about this notion of things getting back to normal and how realistic or farfetched this idea might be.
In our situation, as it stands, is there such a thing as “getting back to normal”? The very definition of normal seems to suggest that the idea that there could be a getting back to something that was once constant may be unfounded. Normal means…conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected. There is nothing about our current situation that aligns with any part of this definition. I strongly believe that life as we once knew it will not return; at least not fully. This pandemic is changing the fabric of our society. It is pushing us, challenging us, and pitting us against questions and wonderings that are not easily answered. How we’ve done school, work, leisure, and how we will continue to do so is all under well-deserved scrutiny. The big question is...is normal really worth saving? How was your normal treating you?
Dave Hollis put is well when he said...
In the rush to return to normal, let's use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.
Let’s be honest. Our schools have been broken for quite some time. Was it ever not so? The way that we work in our society with almost no regard for our health, the need for balance, and authentic connection…also broken. The relegation of relationships to bite-sized texts and posts and a diminished personal connection possibly due to time constraints…certainly broken. Commutes that tack on hours to an already long workday that only continues after arriving at our home spaces. Broken as well. I know it's hard now but before we engage in a love affair with the broken past because of the discomfort of the current situation, let’s not forget how many gaping holes existed within that context. It wasn’t as great as some may remember it and memory, when under pressure, can be quite faulty and forgiving.
The reality is that there is discomfort now and for some, it is sharp, extreme, and raw. We have and continue to be touched in various ways by this pandemic. Herein lies the silver lining. While we are in this holding pattern, we have the opportunity to identify what we’d like to leave behind and take into our new normal to establish a more just and loving reality for ourselves and those around us. Let’s flirt with the notion that maybe dumping normal might be okay and assuming an unfamiliar space may be in the best interests of all involved. Just being open to this notion opens us up to a plethora of ideas and out of the box thinking that will be needed to forge ahead successfully. The saying of “this too shall pass” is true even of this challenge we collectively face. It will pass. No one knows for sure when that will be but if we decide now, who we will be and what we will take with us from this experience, we will be properly positioned to weather the uncertainties and adjustments. I am certain of this.
How is this resonating for you? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. Feel free to leave a comment below. Sending you peace as we push through another week together.
In Solidarity and Love,