Back to Normal-ish


It’s been six months since our world turned upside down. We stopped frequenting our favorite stores and restaurants, schools closed, and we were introduced to distance learning. Commutes became a thing of the past.

Those first few weeks were a blur, and so very difficult with work calls, virtual meetings, my kids needing constant attention, stopping work to make breakfast and lunch for them, and trying to focus on my actual job while they each needed something. Thankfully, my husband was home to share the responsibilities, but the stress factor was through the roof.

I stopped sleeping. I started to feel claustrophobic in my own home. Every day, I was uncertain how I could make it through another day. I missed my mom. We all missed our friends. And we were scared all the time.

And then, one day, I was able to go back into the office. Just once a week. Dipping a toe in the outside world. And then twice a week. And then, we received the opening dates for school. My kids were adamant that they wanted to go, and once I heard the reopening plans, I agreed. We tried eating at a place with outside picnic tables. We finally got to visit my mom.

Our mask collection is growing, as is our stash of hand sanitizer. We are slowly moving into a “new normal.” And it feels good. It feels like what’s happening now is sustainable and safe. Yes, I missed large family gatherings all summer, and I REALLY miss eating at my favorite restaurants.

I’m not ready for everything yet, but we’re finding the sweet spot of safety and comfort, and it feels good. I spent the last six months feeling sad about the things we can’t do, but as we start to coast into the new normal, I’m counting my blessings of what we have been able to do.

1. We spent so much more time outside than we would have otherwise. My older daughter learned to ride a two-wheeler, and my younger daughter overcame her fear of the slide!

2. We had more family time than we knew what to do with. We even did a family chalk art project on our driveway!

3. We took long drives to get out of our environment. We made a day trip to Mystic and wandered around the aquarium. The new capacity protocols made us feel like the place was ours, and with no crowds to contend with, we came nose to nose with the whales!

4. We walked through our local parks and trails. I am not an “outdoor” person, so that’s a true victory for me!

5. We celebrated our younger daughter’s birthday at home, with just a few family members. We found a new appreciation for our home and our yard, and she was just as happy without having a giant party with a ton of kids.

The slower pace suits us. We don’t have places to run to all the time. Everything is done with care and caution.

I do hope there comes a time where we can see shades of “life before” coming back to us, but I’ve come to see that there are lessons to be learned from these last six months. Perhaps this new normal, as it morphs into a more permanent version of life, will feel familiar one day.


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