It’s April 2020, and things aren’t going the way we expected. Remember January, when we were super excited about the new year and everything it held for us? We didn’t know.
Now as we sit quarantined in our homes - you’re not going anywhere, are you? - I feel a little guilty because I am not completely hating this. That’s a complicated way to feel because people are suffering, people are working really hard to keep us alive, and all I have to do is sit here at home, and I don’t hate it.
My family goes for two walks a day right now, once in the morning and then in the evening. As we left our driveway last week I noticed myself feeling wistful for the time we have together right now, and knew that I would miss it when things go back to “normal.”
I thought about the amount of time I used to spend in my car, driving Mom’s Taxi back and forth, back and forth, not accomplishing anything other than getting people to places, and getting them there late even for all of my hustle, and feeling lame for being late all the time.
I thought about how I used to feel overwhelmed by the number of things we had to do, and obligations we had or expectations we had to be places and do things. That’s gone now. No one expects us to be anywhere, we don’t have to come up with reasons why we can’t do things, and the expectation is that we are going to hole up in our nests and live our lives and tend to ourselves. And I like it.
Normal wasn’t working. Normal American life had resulted in a stressed-out, overweight, overworked, exhausted group of people who desperately needed a break, looking to other cultures for cues about how to live more simply. Now that we are being forced to live more simply, we want things to be “normal.”
I’m spending time considering how much of this new, slow, simple life I can keep, and what my new normal will be. We can create it, you know. We can say no to the old way, and stay in the new way.
What do you like about life now?
What do you not miss?
What do you not want to go back to?
What do you want to keep about this?
I’m not getting everything right in this experience. There are new frustrations and worries, and every week reveals a new wrinkle. But sometimes, I think about what parts I will keep, and what will become my new normal. A new normal. Are you brave enough to live it?