Archives for posts with tag: the new normal

It’s a Friday morning. A busy morning. A mostly sort of routine-ish morning. I’ve got my coffee (#2), and a day of work ahead of me. I’ve got errands to run and a reminder on my calendar. I’m okay with all of that, and feeling mostly sort of relaxed, and generally fairly organized.

The noise of contractors here at the house is a bit much to take. Calls and meetings would be affected. I’m fortunate to be able to easily reschedule all but one. I focus on work, then catch myself holding my breath – too focused. I take a break.

Take breaks. Mean it when you do; really step away, and take a minute to “just breathe” and maybe even let your mind wander! When I returned to work, I felt fresh and comfortably focused without stress or anxiety. It’s enough to notably improve what is already a decent morning. I sip my cold coffee, content and relaxed. It’s enough.

Before the work day began, this morning, I embarked on what I hope becomes a regular element of my new normal, my new morning routine; I went for a walk. It was only a mile, and really just around and about my local neighborhood, brisk, cane in hand, smiling and waving to neighbors getting their day started. It was pleasant. I felt energized for the day ahead by the time I returned home. It’s not a hike in the forest or anything, but it’s a nice contribution to my general wellness and fitness.

I discover a pleasantly inaccessible bit of green space within the neighborhood.

It’s a nicely level walk, on suburban sidewalks, nestled in the countryside, tucked between a local highway and the “old” version of that route. Since I sometimes walk very early, as early as those last dark pre-dawn minutes, straying from the pavement would present needless hazards for my messed up ankle. I take my cane, and my patience with myself (and my middle-aged, less-than-ideally-fit-but-working-on-it limitations), and enjoy the journey for what it is. A gentle moment with the woman in the mirror as the way ahead becomes steps fading behind me. I see things I missed before, each time I make the trip around the neighborhood; it’s still very new.

I stop near where the creek that runs behind the house becomes a mere trickle, and wonder what is holding back the flow?

I walk on, wondering what “holds back my flow’ in life, love, and art… just… you know, “along the way”, and how can I “do more, better” without exhausting myself, or finding myself mired in resentment or resistance? I think about the need for healthy breaks, and how that improves my productivity at work… There’s something to learn here.

…I drink some water, and begin again. πŸ™‚

 

It’s early on a Monday morning. The alarm clock was an unwelcome sound, when it went off for the first time in two weeks. I got myself up, did some yoga, made coffee… all very “normal” sorts of workday morning things. I still don’t feel properly awake. I definitely feel “weird” about work. lol This is my first bit of early morning writing in this new space… I fret a bit about whether the sound of my typing will disturb my sleeping partner in the adjacent bedroom, and attempt to “type quietly”, aware of the sound and cadence of my keystrokes. I drink my coffee. I read a bit of the news (before giving up on that quagmire of negativity and emotionally evocative word-smithing in favor of meditation). Seems a routine sort of Monday, thus far, although I’ve yet to dive into the work day ahead.

…I’m mostly just sipping coffee and “soaking in the vibe” of this new place…

Morning coffee; same routine, new location.

There’s the most gentle vague hint of daylight-to-come visible through the view-obscuring-but-not-wholly-opaque window shade. I consider opening that up and letting in the morning light. I don’t actually do anything about it; I just sit here sipping my coffee rather contentedly. It’s enough.

There’s ever so much more to write “about” this move that is, in most respects, now behind me (us), but today, this morning, does not feel like the time to do that. It’s easy enough to celebrate the successes, to share what worked, to acknowledge what has gone well…and I’m entirely made of human. It’s a given, is it not, that more than a few things likely didn’t go ideally well, and maybe a thing or two went so badly sideways that the emotional hurts still linger? I assure you, there is much to consider, with care and with love and with compassion, before I am really up for talking about painful moments, upsets, complications, or hurt feelings, mostly because that was the rare and the few and the limited of all the many moments I shared with my Traveling Partner during this move – and we’re still getting work done on the moving in piece, even though the moving out is completed. I’m still celebrating the wins and savoring the successes – and I’m definitely sure those matter most. There is time later for reflection. πŸ™‚

This past weekend felt more like a “regular weekend” than it felt like part of moving. Win! We grilled on the deck. We watched favorite shows. (We continued to unpack! lol) We kept things tidy. My Traveling Partner did some important household repair tasks. We each did routine chores like laundry, dishes, and taking out the trash. Humans living life. Simple, wholesome, very “normal” stuff… the new normal, here, at home. It seems enough. πŸ™‚

New day ahead, new view, and new perspective.

I glance at the time, and into my empty coffee mug. It’s time to begin again. πŸ™‚

Lots of stuff in the news recently about “getting back to normal” and “opening the country back up”. Are you eager to see that happen, or dreading it as potentially premature? Personally, I’m sort of just watching things unfold with a measure of interested curiosity.

I’m pretty sure there will be a “new normal”, and that we would not be wise to simply hit a reset button and go back to irresponsibly not washing our hands and carelessly coughing into open air, or shopping while we’re sick and contagious. One fairly notable thing about “going back to normal” – we can each choose to live a more healthful, safe, life. We can individually continue to commit to exceptional consideration with regard to contagion and personal space. We can continue to wash our hands regularly. We can continue to properly cover coughs and sneezes. We can continue to not go out into the world when we are sick. These all seem like good practices. Why would anyone choose to give them up? Seriously.

This seems a good time to really look into the mirror and acknowledge where my individual practices and habits do (or don’t) support good community health, generally, and make the corrections needed to see that I do practice behaviors that support good community health – and that I am actively promoting those within my relationships, and my community, generally. We’ve had the nudge we all needed, in the form of a pandemic for fuck’s sake, so now it’s time to build reliably healthy habitual long-term behavior for the good of our communities. It’s not that hard, it just needs practice. πŸ™‚

I sip my coffee and let my thoughts move on.

I sit and wonder about our fantasy notions about “normal”, and what we think that means. Isn’t “normal” simply a matter of what we’re most used to, most of the time, rather than any reliably true perception or statement of what may actually be a healthy state of things? I mean, if I live somewhere where there is trash in the streets everywhere I go, that would probably seem to be pretty “normal”. It would not, however, be a healthy situation, or in any way perceivably good. I’m just saying; there’s an obvious difference in meaning between “normal” and “something worth seeking”. “Normal” is often used to limit and control people’s behavior – through shaming them using comparisons to that stated “normal”. I sip my coffee and think about how often I am, myself, out of step with some individual’s concept of “normal”. I think about how individual our perceptions of “normal” actually are. I wonder about where those perceptions actually come from, and how or why we may reinforce them – even when we disagree with them. It’s a weird system. 0_o

It’s a weird morning.

I sigh quietly and update my “to do list” with a couple additional tasks my Traveling Partner asked me to take care of. I think about the long weekend ahead, and the camping trip that I’m not taking because all the state parks are closed. I find myself missing the anticipated solitude more, simply because it is now the week that I would have been camping. In fact, I’d be headed for the forest right now, car packed, ready to hike in, set up camp, and while away some hours just listening to the wind in the trees. The plan was 5 days… come back, spend a day with my Traveling Partner before returning to the work routine. Hell, when I made my camping plans, it wasn’t even a given that my Traveling Partner would actually be in town to spend that 1 weekend day with me, after my camping trip. lol We’ve been together basically 24/7 for something like 60 days now – I was at home sick with a cold for several days leading up to my employer’s decision to have the company working from home “until the pandemic is over”. I’ve enjoyed a lot of the things to do with spending this time together. I miss solitude. The challenge is finding the balance between cherished solitude and joyful intimacy. It’s there, but there are some verbs involved.

My view shifts to include the computer at my desk. The keyboard under my fingers. The monitor in front of my face. My glance sweeps the room surrounding me, and all the things within it that comfort and nurture me, support my hobbies, my art work, my writing, my job. I pause for gratitude. This good quality of life is a team effort; my Traveling Partner and I add more to each other’s experiences than we subtract, by far. For now, solitude is an out of reach luxury, and it’s in very short supply. That serves to make it quite precious, worth savoring the experience when I get to enjoy it. I admit to myself that if I had a surplus of solitude right now, and no time with my Traveling Partner (an experience I have endured in the past), it would be just as hard, just as frustrating, just as unsatisfying as any moment right now ever is – and on top of all that, it would also be quite lonely. I shrug off my bitching with this bit of practical perspective, and move on with my morning, aware that he is having his own challenges with these circumstances. (It can not be easy to be with me 24/7… I’m a bit much, sometimes.)

I become aware of the clock. Aware of the time. I guess I’ll begin again. πŸ˜‰

 

 

Yesterday? Work, home, dinner, some chill time, and positioning bookcases. The day felt comfortably normal, comfortably routine. I still can’t quite find my way around in the dark here. The dimensions of the spaces are different (like the width of the hallway), in addition to the very different floorplan, generally. I struggled to fall asleep, still learning “new noises” – some of which sound very much as though they are inside the house (they aren’t, I checked). Β Feeling really settled comes with time, and the unpacking of books, and the hanging of paintings, and the mental cataloging of noises. I remind myself there is no rush; I live here.

My commute was pleasant, yesterday. It’s an improvement over the old one, even if I take public transportation, which I did. There is a nearby-ish “park and ride”, and I am taking advantage of it to continue to let my foot heal. The bus I take is a straight shot to the office, no transfers, no delays, frequent service. Convenient. Shorter than the old commute, if measured in minutes. I am grateful to have the car, and can choose to use it.

I smile, thinking of my Traveling Partner, and his assurances that I certainly need the car more than he does, right now, and letting me have it for some while. The sky lightens beyond my window, and I wonder where he is this morning, and whether he is also looking at the morning sky.

This morning is the start of another day of “the new normal”. The morning traffic just outside my window, is the start of noisy, busy, Tuesday morning commuter traffic. I chuckle thinking about how much I bitched about the ceaseless quiet roar of distant traffic at #59… somehow it still managed to wear on my nerves more than the louder, nearer, traffic does here. Was it the broad expanse of meadow and marsh that made it such an affront to my senses? Or was it the lack of pauses, the lack of quiet even in the wee hours? I feel generally calmer here (so far). Planes overhead. Cars. Trucks. Buses. Cement mixers. Delivery vans. None of that drowns out the peeping tree frogs, chirping and singing of the birds in the trees alongside the deck, or the vocalizations of the squirrels and chipmunks. It’s lovely here, in spite of the traffic, in spite of the aircraft occasionally overhead, and even in spite of not being entirely moved in quite yet. (I’m down to the bit I can take my time with, and I’ll be more satisfied with the aesthetic outcome if I do take my time with it.)

Tuesday, huh? Precedes Wednesdays, generally. This week, that means another work day. I’ve grown rather accustomed to 3 day work days and 4 day weekends. lol Definitely a schedule I could enjoy long-term. πŸ™‚ This week it’s back to full length work weeks, and Thursday feels rather far away.

A new normal will ideally include all of the best self-care practices that nurture this fragile vessel, and support an active life. It’ll need continuation of the practices that support my emotional and mental wellness, too. I guess I’ll get on with that… it’s a lovely morning to take a seat on my meditation cushion, looking out a different window, into a different morning view.

Taking care of me. I see changes to make based on the aesthetics of the view.

It’s a lovely morning to begin again.