In four days our Colorado quarantine will be over. We will finally be able to leave our house. Go get groceries. Take the dog for a walk. Go for a run–oh how I’m aching to run outside! I ran 9 miles on the treadmill Saturday. I’m aching to run outside.
In four days life will be back to normal again.
Ha! Normal. I feel so lost right now looking for “normal.” Normal is an absurd paradox. Normal right now means having virtual school be the grounding point in the day when you’re in Colorado because it’s the only thing that ties your kids to a routine because things are so surreal because your father passed away. Virtual school suddenly becomes the comfortable routine and your kids crave it.
Until they come home and they struggle with it again. That’s what normal is right now.
Normal right now is waking up in the morning and with curiosity genuinely asking yourself, “Is this going to be the day where I feel good about how I’m doing with life and all the jobs I need to do or is it going to be the day where I feel like I am a complete failure at everything.” Normal is knowing that it’s a 50/50 shot it’s going to be one or the other, and if it’s the “failure” day, knowing you can see it through to the end, go to bed, and tomorrow will be the “good” day.
Normal also is accepting help and kindness from friends, when you normally think you’re fine without help. Normal is saying yes to people who offer to bring dinner or knock on the door and stand six feet from you from the front step and chat for a few minutes–sometimes longer. Normal is having a heart full of gratitude for friends and family who have messaged through social media, letters in the mail, or little bits of kindness left on the front step. Normal is having a friend pick up your online grocery pickup and bringing it to the house.
Normal is catching yourself trying to text you dad a few times during the week, without even thinking about it. I never realized how often I’d send my dad a text to let him know things like Cat Stevens performed “The Wind” from his home and shared it on Facebook, here’s the link,” or, “Have you seen the latest on what’s going on in Canadian politics?” Normal is realizing that it’s actually comforting to see my dad everywhere in my daily life, that there are so many aspects of my life that have been intertwined with his over the years that I feel like I could pick up my phone and talk to him about it.
Normal is also those moments, once, maybe twice a day where I’m listening to his records or I’m dicing onions in the kitchen, and I think about how my dad would feel about adding more fennel to spaghetti sauce and I start to cry. I also realize that hole, that aching comes because he meant that much to me. That’s going to be normal too, and I’m really, really grateful for that I have that much to miss about him.
My dad’s birthday is in three days, and the new normal is also going to be realizing that I won’t be sending him a birthday present or card in the mail.
Normal is realizing that to get back to normal, things need to change. They will change. Virtual school will be over in four weeks. Then normal will look different again. Summer will come and that will be a new normal too. The kids will return to school back in August. I’m not sure what that will look like, but I’m sure that will be different too.
But no matter what “normal” brings, I know that I have so many people around me (who are navigating their daily normals too) who are willing to reach out a little extra kindness is needed, even though we have to stand at least six feet a part.
I’ve felt so much kindness. There is so much kindness out there. That’s something that’s far more better than normal.