What is the new normal?
For everyone, no doubt, the new normal differs.
For myself, the new normal has got helplessly mixed up with the old normal, and I have discovered I am the same old me, pandemic or not.
Nonetheless, COVID-19 has wrought changes into my life that came suddenly, unexpectedly and not without a certain amount of trepidation.
Now, I find myself at home writing this column instead of in my office breathing in the dust of newspapers past, sipping coffee from my trusty old worn travel mug.
Today, I gaze outside through a lace covered window while sitting at an old wicker deskin my living room. Perched on my desk is one of those old-fashioned green lamps they used to have in long ago newsrooms and, sitting beside my fancy new laptop, is a little miniature typewriter.
And, if I close my eyes, I can visualize myself back there, back in the day, before COVID, before the changes, sitting in a newspaper office, banging out this week’s news.
But that was then, and this is now.
For myself, the new normal has meant changes. Lots of changes.
In fact, COVID has thrust me into a different world.
So, once I found myself here, in this new world, I decided the best and most practical thing to do was to consider my options.
I made to- do lists. I meditated and visualized. And, in my head I turned my house into a place of spotless order and cleanliness. A show home of loveliness.
Of course, the spotless order and cleanliness ideas have stayed in my head, never to be put into action.
And, before long I came to the sad realization that COVID might change a lot of things, but it was not going to change me.
I was still the same old, hang my coat on the back of a chair, slightly messy, slightly disorganized procrastinator that I ever was.
Finally, with the world, myself, included still reeling from the effects of the pandemic I decided the best thing I could do for myself was to get into shape. You know, feel good, feel strong, move your body easily, kind of shape.
The very thought of it made me groan and long for the old normal where I could relax, hang out watch movies and eat copious amounts of popcorn and move slowly, but purposely from fridge to couch.
But resolutely I ignored my own misgivings and set out on a 21-day challenge to become the new and improved me. Everyday I would walk and every day I would do a 30-minute work out.
And, surprising everyone, mostly myself, I am almost done. I only have four days left.
And I have to say that weirdly enough, my early morning walk has been the best new normal I have yet to experience.
In fact, it has been incredibly, delightfully awesome. I have walked in the sunshine and in the pouring rain. I have walked in the wind and in complete and absolute stillness. I have heard the robins sing and I have watched a tiny deer watch me, silently, from the safety of a grove of trees.
And, I have felt nothing less than a sense of awe.
I like this new habit. I think I will keep it.
A new normal. My new normal. And I think that must be a good thing.
An incredibly good thing.