What is the new normal?

What is the new normal?

  • Jun. 1, 2020 6:50 p.m.

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.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Supporters gather during a rally against measures taken by government and health authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19 at the Whistle Stop cafe in Mirror Alta, on Saturday May 8, 2021. The Whistle Stop was shut down by AHS for not complying with COVID-19 rules. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Police hand out tickets to dozens leaving anti-lockdown protest in Alberta

Hundreds gathered outside the Whistle Stop Café in the hamlet of Mirror, Alta.

Oval Race track at Central Alberta Raceway. (Photo Submitted)
Central Alberta Raceways in Rimbey delays opening after health restrictions expand

Central Alberta Raceways had originally planned to open for the season at the end of May

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. Alberta leads the Prairie provinces in being the first to take COVID-19 vaccine bookings for pre-teens. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta leads Prairie provinces in accepting COVID vaccine bookings for pre-teens

The province begins accepting appointments for kids as young as 12 starting today

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
A vial of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Alberta to stop giving first doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 shot as supply dwindles

There aren’t any confirmed shipments of AstraZeneca coming, and the province only has 8,400 doses of it left

Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp (9) and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) watch an incoming shot during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, April 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
‘Very jealous’: Canadian teams can’t take advantage of NHL’s relaxed COVID-19 rules

League eased some tight COVID-19 health and safety protocols over the weekend for fully vaccinated clubs

File photo
Arrest made for armed robbery in Millet, Wetaskiwin RCMP continue to investigate

Wetaskiwin RCMP are investigating an armed robbery took place May 4, 2021 in Millet, Alta.

Dr. Karina Pillay, former mayor of Slave Lake, Alta., is shown at her medical clinic in Calgary on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
10 years later: Former Slave Lake mayor remembers wildfire that burned through town

Alberta announced in 2011 that an unknown arsonist had recklessly or deliberately ignited the forest fire

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman travelling from Alberta found dead in B.C. park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

A caribou grazes on Baffin Island in a 2008 file photo. A last-ditch attempt to save some of Canada’s vanishing caribou herds is a step closer after a scientific review panel’s approval of a plan to permanently pen some animals and breed them to repopulate other herds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kike Calvo via AP Images
Parks Canada captive caribou breeding proposal gets OK from scientific review panel

Wolf density in Jasper is low enough that the animals would not be expected to be a major threat

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Most Read