Everybody is talking about the ‘new normal’ as a result of the tumultuous change that has been forced upon us. The most appropriate question might be what was the ‘old normal’ anyway, and was it really working for us?
We got up, revved our engines, climbed on the treadmill of life in search of success (as someone had defined it for us) and like so many other faceless, lifeless entities went for it! Thoughtless, often mindless, expending our days in the chase – expending our lives in the chase until we rolled in sometime in the evening exhausted, hoping to recharge just enough to hit repeat the next morning, because somehow that’s how success was defined, right? We’d re-engage each morning wishing we had more time for family, spouses, friends, hobbies, fitness, freedom to think and reflect without the incessant demands of the ‘old normal’. With a false nobility we’d complain about having no time and wishing it could all be so different!!
One thing we know is that the ‘old normal’ was comfortable, numbing, all-consuming – I mean after all; it was normal wasn’t it?
Well, now it is – it just is!
I’m not intending to be insensitive to the tremendous tragedy and loss that the COVID crisis has unleashed upon us – because the tragedy is real and very many have indeed suffered, tragically. Embedded in this crisis however are incredible opportunities for growth and change. COVID has imposed a halt that we couldn’t achieve for ourselves, because the collective couldn’t / wouldn’t permit it. I’ve heard many refer to the COVID crisis as having brought all mankind to its knees. I know though, that we’ve not been crippled in any way. In fact, in the midst of so much tragedy, we’ve been afforded a priceless opportunity to make the unconscious conscious so as to choose differently, more wisely.
We’re probing the depths of our resilience and discovering the amazing strengths and ingenuity of those who surround us. We’re discovering that the material placebos that litter our homes are just that, and that true happiness comes from connection, service and loving those who matter most to us.
And we’re discovering that everyone matters to us!
Why did we not appreciate that front line heroes (nurses, doctors, truck drivers, grocery staff, supply chain workers, etc.) are truly more valuable to us than the elite athletes and actors that have more opinions about life than experience in life? Though we complained about it nobly, when did we ever step back – making the unconscious conscious – to really examine the consequences of our material existence, not only on our environment but even more importantly on our children and ourselves. So instead of railing against the ‘new normal’ that’s been foisted upon us – let’s intentionally identify the things we want to keep when the virus subsides. Create, with clear intention, a list of the positive things that can be maintained when the ‘air clears’ – and remarkably it is clearing both figuratively and in reality. Plan to set boundaries and make choices that reflect the best from this experience. The ‘Great Pause’ does indeed bring with it many blessings.
Don’t lose sight of those blessings when the starter pistol fires and you go in search of your treadmill!
You can, and should choose differently!