Normal will never return
There are those who are struggling with everyday life ever since the pandemic began. This is partially because many now realize that normal will never return.
During the past two years, we have all experienced significant shifts in our lives. Everything from work, to travel, to shopping has been adjusted.
After being denied for so many years, working from home is now widely accepted among many businesses. They have discovered that productivity in the workplace is possible without physically being at work. We can indeed be creative from the couch.
Traveling, even domestically, requires much planning. This is more critical when travelling internationally due to the constant adjustment of entry and exit policies. We now need to have a reserve fund with a few thousand dollars, in the event we are delayed in a particular country. This will cover hotel and meal costs for the additional days or weeks.
Online shopping and delivery services are now the norm. Visiting brick and mortar stores are for those who just need to get out of the house or are shopping purists. It is no longer necessary to watch the chef prepare our meals because a total stranger can perform this task before delivering it to our doorsteps.
During my many conversations with those in my social circles, as well as eavesdropping on the conversations of some strangers, I have realized that there are many waiting to return to the “good old days”. Those with this mindset are sure to have daily disappointments. Life as we know it has adjusted, progressed, and left them behind. It is not only the wearing of masks that has them uncomfortable, but also the “new normal” of changing the way they conduct themselves.
These individuals would like us to return to our offices, where our coworkers constantly distract us with chatter, take extra-long breaks and use all our favorite coffee creamer. They long for a return to environments where people openly cough and sneeze into their hands without sanitizing or washing them. It is their preference that we be forced to leave the comfort of our homes, battle traffic and stand in long lines for groceries.
What we need to acknowledge is that periodically, we must move away from our comfort zones to advance. Change is not always negative; it is a necessity. If those who preceded us decided to remain in their “normal” environments, we would not have the many advancements we do today. Life would be so boring without YouTube and TikTok. If we did not have movement away from normalcy, we would be forced to have conversations with family and friends around the dinner table as opposed to having the luxury of interacting with our smartphones.
Instead of looking backward, maybe it is time to look forward. This is the only way we will be able to adapt and thrive in our ever-changing society. Look at the new opportunities around you and find a way to make them work for you. Do not allow your normal to be so subnormal that the new normal seems abnormal.