Honey, what’s your new normal?

We don’t develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.”

Barbara De Angelis

The road less traveled…

During these scary times, I think it’s safe to say that we have all learned a lot about what we’re made of. We’re on the road less traveled, and sometimes, it’s fine, and sometimes, it’s very uncomfortable. We’re in the process of creating a new normal, and that is always disconcerting, and, dare I say, exciting at the same time. Mr. G and I were talking recently about what we’ve learned through the Covid-19 crisis, and what that would mean for our future.

One of the things we’ve talked about it that we are “high-risk”. I really don’t like that description, and yet, there it is. We have to watch ourselves. Ugh.

In this new, transitioning into something else normal, we have learned that we don’t have to go some place everyday. This sounds stupid-simplistic, but as a newly retired person, it’s what I did. I went somewhere every day. It was rare that I was home all day. In fact, if I was at home all day, I was probably a little under the weather. Not so, now. And, Mr. G has learned that working from home is possible, and maybe even more productive. His most constant interruption is Annabelle, begging him to throw the ball, and he can close the door to the guest room (where his makeshift office is) if she gets too persistent!

Speaking of working from home, will more people opt to work from home if given the option? I would say yes. I know a few people who really function better in a team environment when they can actually “be” with their team, but many people are just fine working from home. I really wonder how all this will “shake” out? (I daydream about huge corporate offices sitting empty, except for the deer and raccoons rummaging through coffee lounges!)

Another big change – we can’t believe how much money we haven’t spent! Our most consistent places to go these days are the grocery store and the hardware store. That’s it. In the beginning, there were several panicked Amazon purchases, but after the initial hysteria, we’re really quite fine.

Following up on that, we haven’t been eating out. (True confessions – we have gotten take-out food 3 times in 12 weeks, and I plan to do it at least once a week from now on. It’s a treat!). Before the virus, we ate out maybe once a week together, and I ate out for lunch a couple of times per week. Now, I have “socially distanced” bag-lunches with a couple of friends. It’s fun! The point is, you don’t HAVE to eat out to visit with friends.

I really like to cook. Mr. G has complimented me many times on dishes I have created during our confinement. To that, I say, “necessity is the mother of invention”! Have there been days that we had pita chips and hummus for dinner because I couldn’t face the stove? Absolutely. However, I kind of like the challenge of coming up with a meal on the fly. Making a game out of creating a meal with what I have on hand is sort of fun. So, there’s another thing I’ve learned… there usually IS something to eat in the house…

Have you noticed how clear the air is? When I’m walking with Annabelle, I can’t believe how the quality of the air has changed. It just feels better to breathe. And, there’s not near the noise of traffic and airplanes! Wow.

I’m wondering, when all this passes, what the new normal will look like? Will we be in our cars constantly, making up for lost time? Somehow, I don’t think so. I hope we are learning from this crisis. One thing we’ve all learned is that planning can only get you so far… there are some things that disrupt our plans, and we have to adapt. Maybe adaptability is the takeaway here…

I think many of us have looked around at what we have, been very grateful, and have reduced the size of our kingdoms, as it were. There’s a whole world outside, just in our own backyards or patios, that maybe we didn’t know that well before the virus. There are birds that visit the feeder every day, and I can’t believe how much I look forward to that. Being outside has been my salvation, and I know that many of you feel the same.

What I can’t wait to get back to? Family dinners. I miss our adult children and their spouses so very much. I want to hug them. So very much! For that, I remain impatient. Until that time, virtual hugs to you all!

4 thoughts on “Honey, what’s your new normal?”

  1. Love your insight on this. We have found that staying home is just fine. I find while cooking more is good it is also overwhelming and I too look forward to dinners with family once again

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  2. Staying home has not been an issue for us. Between our move, setting up our new home, playing with grandchildren, getting to know our neighbors, and lots of walks, the days seem to zip by. A slower pace of life is beneficial!

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