How many times a day do you come across references to finding the New Normal? The phrase is still being bantered about because folks don’t recognize what our New Normal is.
The New Normal has already arrived, people. It’s called CHANGE, and now it’s our job is to get used to it.
Simply put, our world has morphed, and there is nothing we can do about it. So, let it go. Don’t hold on to the way things used to be. That’s like trying to hold onto childhood – impossible. Instead, here’s how to get a grip on our current reality.
We can’t control what’s happening out there, which means letting it go is the best thing we can do for ourselves. In its place, work on controlling what’s happening in your home, in your space, in your job, in your mind, in your relationships… that should be enough to keep you busy 24/7, and keep you focused on the present.
If you try to view today’s circumstances as your New Normal, this time next month you’ll be stressed out when things have changed yet again. With the season that follows next month, things will already be different from the coming month’s changes. This time next year, things will have changed so many times, we won’t be able to keep track of it all.
If you are waiting for consistency, don’t. Just don’t. Most likely we’ve got a couple of years of changes ahead of us:
- failing traditional businesses suitable only for our former life, replaced by new businesses serving new needs
- increasing appreciation and respect for jobs that keep our infrastructure functioning (trash removal, cleaning services, mail carrying, deliveries, caregiving, etc.)
- adapting experimental strategies for resuming education as the pandemic shifts
- a growing emphasis on living locally and more simply, inadvertently decreasing our carbon footprint (Yay!)
- adjusting to new ways of shopping, socializing, interviewing, eating, playing, and living
That’s okay. We can deal with it once we realize the truth:
Change is the New Normal.
The empowering direction for everyone is to proactively embrace change, and roll with it.
That reminds me of a story…
When I was a teen, I was body surfing at Misquamicut State Beach in Rhode Island, unaware of how fast the waves were increasing in height and intensity. Once I recognized the waves were breaking further and further from shore, I knew it was time to head back. I tried to ride the next one in, but it swept me up and slapped me silly.
I managed to swim to deeper water to recover (where the waves were still rolling swells), but two things were crystal clear.
- The ever-changing tide had become too rough for me to handle.
- I didn’t know how to safely return to shore.
Terrified, I asked another swimmer bobbing in the water near me what to do. She told me that instead of struggling amidst the force of a crashing wave, to relax under it until the turbulence passed.
So, that’s what I did. In between waves, I paddled toward shore. When I felt the water drawing me backwards – the definitive sign that another wave was coming – I’d stop swimming, check for the location of the wave, and gently sink underwater until it passed. It took quite a while, but I just kept altering what I was doing according to the ocean’s demands.
I survived by letting go of my panicky need to get my feet back on familiar ground as fast as possible. I replaced it with a willingness to read the situation and adjust to it. Little by little I made progress, and little by little my fear diminished. By the time I reached an area shallow enough to plant my feet without being knocked down by the oncoming waves, my alarm had been replaced by the type of calm that only empowerment can provide.
That’s how we’re going to make it through these unusual times. You’ve already committed to functioning despite the pandemic, and within the pandemic. All you have to do now is embrace your ever-changing life, including its inevitable ebbs and flows. If you can be willing to relax and adjust as the New Normal shifts, and shifts again, and shifts again, you will be happier.
Besides, you’ll find it markedly easier to calmly exist with minimized apprehension … plus a bit of buoyancy.
I know you can do it. I have faith in you.
*This is an excerpt from my book, How To Get Your Happy On. Get your copy of the original version of this powerful little ebook at https://www.amazon.com/How-Get-Your-Happy-Handbook-ebook/dp/B082QW73RY for only $3.99.