NORMALCY – Embrace your “new normal” –And Know it Won’t last
By Sally Tippett Rains
The phrase embrace your “new normal” has probably never had more of an impact than it does today in 2020. Nothing we could have imagined would have prepared us for what we are facing. Nothing is normal.
Our world has been turned upside down because of something—whether it’s something that is happening to you or something that is happening around you (health crisis, Covid, politics etc.). Some days you think you can’t take it any more. Well you can. You are stronger than you think you are. You’ve made it this far– and look at all you’ve endured.
If you are going through a tough time, you may think your life is far from be normal but you can live in this “new normal.”
The biggest thing to remember is that this new normal is not going to last forever. Our life is constantly changing so don’t think this is how it will end. That saying , “this too shall pass” is so true whether good or bad, our whole life is a series of happenings– and we get to choose if they are viewed as disasters or adventures. That’s why I never say “what else can happen?”– because of course anything can happen, Just take what happens and keep going. Keep moving forward.
Sometimes when our life is full of chaos, we just want it to go back to the way it was—to be normal.
Normal is over-rated and sometimes even boring. We look back and think everything was so great– but it wasn’t. We had different problems then, but now due to all we are going through we tend to glamorize “the good old days.”
So we should learn to live where we are now; make a temporary “new normal.” I think the singer Carly Simon said it well:
“And tomorrow we might not be together
I’m no prophet and I don’t know nature’s ways
So I’ll try and see into your eyes right now
And stay right here ’cause these are the good old days”
Make it a point to look into the eyes (or hearts) of your loved ones today, and make the most of whatever today presents you because one day you will look back on this time and it will be will be “the good old days.”
Those last few months of my father’s life seemed so difficult (and sad) at the time but I made sure to somehow include fun– for him and us– every day because now that he’s gone, those truly were some good old days.
Integrative Health Coach Julia Stehlin’s e-book, “It’s the Little Things” is full of ideas and tips on how to make it through this pandemic (and any tough times we are facing), and one of the “little” things she mentions is when we feel we are losing our grip during a trying time it can help if we find an area in our life where we can build up our confidence.
“We all need to feel competent,” Stehlin says. “Find an activity you enjoy or that you know you’re good at and engage in it daily. Try to get better and better at it. Whether it is cooking, learning to play a card game, coloring mandalas, learning a new instrument, a sport, stepping out of your comfort zone and learning something you’ve been putting off, or work on crossword and logic puzzles.
“Whatever suits you best. Be creative!” [Readers of the Choose Happy Blog can receive Coach Julia’s e-book free if you email her at: email@example.com. I really enjoyed reading it- and it’s not very long.]
During COVID-19 I decided to learn something new so I could feel more competent with giving presentations. It took a lot of tries and a lot of hard work but I learned how to do a powerpoint on a projector and use it in a Zoom call– without the help of a young person! Durning the times I was working on it I felt like giving up– am I too old to learn to do something new? Imagine how happy I felt when I finally had the right connector and pressed the right button and it worked!
I also did this with the autoharp, a few years ago. I wanted to find an instrument that I could play and for me that instrument has added so much joy to my life. In the midst of the pandemic I purposely try to fit things into my daily life that will keep my spirits up– and I keep trying to learn new things.
We can choose to accept what is happening around us – even though we might not like it. We can make sure it doesn’t ruin our life. When I say “accept” I think the Serenity Prayer really says it best. There are some things we can’t change but if we just keep resisting and fighting and never having peace in our hearts, we are missing some great times in our lives.
You can survive whatever it is that is upsetting you the most– you can make it. And if you feel you can’t please do something about it. I will be praying for you and if you need special prayers feel free to email me.
Don’t let the happening of the present time change you from the great person you are. Keep trying to be Excellent—not perfect. If you are striving to be excellent you will make decisions that are honorable and moral. If you keep doing the best you can you will make it through this new normal– because one of these days this will be over and we will be facing a NEW “new normal”– and if we are ready for it it’s going to be great.
“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” — Philippians 4:9 NIV
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” –Confucius.
Make a list of a few things you would like to learn about or get better at. Did you used to like poetry? Cooking? Are you interested in Presidential history? Wish you knew more about astronomy or which bird call belongs to which bird? Does fashion interest you? Want to know more about the players on the Kansas City Chiefs? There are a million things you can learn about. Look for a book or Google some websites or podcasts to learn more about things you are interested in.
One Last Thought
Currently our “new normal” is living through a pandemic (along with whatever else you are facing like illness, missing someone, job loss, etc.) If we give in to feeling sorry for ourselves and thinking we have it worse than anyone—it only brings us down further.
Train your mind to see things in a new way—as I always say—view each part of life as an adventure. When we get to feeling “poor me”, it would help us to put things into perspective. I’m not the first person to have my life disrupted—my grandparents’ lives were disrupted when the stock market crashed. My parents’ lives were disrupted when World War II happened. There have been bad politicians in the past and there will be more in the future—that’s nothing new. There have been pandemics before—even that’s not new.
We just need to take a deep breath and look at what we are facing. Look hard at it and then say to yourself, “It’s ok. I can do this. This may be my new normal right now, but it’s not always going to be like this and I’m going to live through it, and come out better than I was before.”
Choose Happy, Find Contentment in Any Situation.
Sally Tippett Rains is a motivational speaker, inspirational writer and author of 13 books, including Choose Happy; Find Contentment in Any Situation. She is the volunteer Executive Director of Rainbows for Kids and content manager for STLSportsPage.com.
“I love being with people– whether in person or in spirit– who never stop striving for Excellence, see life as an adventure, spark my creativity and learning, encourage my uniqueness, embrace my playfulness, appreciate my honesty and most of all, don’t give up on happiness. These are my people. Look for the type of people you want to attract and make sure you are that person.” —STR
Photo Credit (top photo)–Allen Ahner
Fifteen Keys to a Happy Life
F orward- Keep moving forward
I nitiative- Take the initiative and start things.
N ow- Do it now, live in the now
D etermination- Stay determined to making it
C ommunity –Accept the help of others
O ptimism- Don’t give up on yourself or others
N ew Ideas- Maybe it’s the time to try new ideas
T enacity- Stay in the game, you can do it
E nergy – Do what you need to do to have energy.
N ormalcy – Embrace your “new normal”
T rust – Trust yourself and others.
M indfulness –Don’t worry about the future.
E ncouragement Encourage yourself and others.
N utrition and Health – Take care of yourself.
T ranquility – Learn to just be at peace.