Friday, April 3, 2020

The new normal-ish

A tree I visit on my morning walk...

What was normal is no more.   
The current normal feels rooted in uncertainty.    
The new normal has not yet arrived.  

I have struggled these past few weeks to find a new routine. When the staying at home began I at first felt lucky that I worked at home.  I assumed that I’d feel little practical disruption because while so many people were dealing with the transition from work office to home office, I was already here with my established routines. 

Then I found myself wishing that I had that option.  I wished that I had something to focus on that would keep my brain from running wild because my ‘established routine’ wasn’t working.  My brain and body were overwhelmed by worry, fear, terror, panic…and a myriad of other paralyzing feelings.  I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t plan. 

One Saturday I decided this had to stop and I began a regimented check-in schedule.  Every hour I was closing eyes, seeing how my body felt, relaxing the tense places. I wanted to get my body to calm down in the hopes that the mind would follow. After a few days I started to feel better. I felt like I had a handle on things.  I’d be okay…

Until I wasn’t.  
And then I was.   
And then I sooooo wasn’t.   
And then maybe I was, sort of? 
No, definitely not

Each day has been emotionally different than the prior.  Sometimes dramatically so.  I kept (and keep) telling myself that whatever I am feeling is okay.  I’ve never had an experience like this, there is nothing normal about this, there is nothing routine about this, so why should there be anything routine about what I am feeling?

I’m am starting to establish a new routine.  This new routine prioritizes self-care and checking in with myself.  This new routine involves being easy with myself, and by extension everyone else (we are all doing the best we can). This new routine is one day at a time…and it changes as frequently.

I am understanding gratitude in a new way.  I don’t count or quantify my blessings, but I am starting to feel a deep gratitude for just being here.  I am here. I am breathing.  I am alive. 

Today that is not only enough, it is everything.