The New Normal

April 7, 2020

Okay, so I’ll admit it. It was awesome to change the calendar to April. First and foremost we got THE best news from Xavier University on the morning of April 1. At the risk of bragging I’m going to share that Zach received one of only 18 FACHEX full tuition awards (benefits for folks who work in the Jesuit college network) to Xavier for all four years of college! Hell yeah! Last year they awarded 60 in total. I’m making this public because I’m super excited and I think we all have to celebrate good news during this time, especially! Plus, we have been playing this waiting game since like November when Zach applied so it has been a long, stressful, wait for all of us! We sent in the deposit the next day and now we await how things will unfold in the coming weeks and months. I remain hopeful that this too shall pass and fall schedules can resume for all of us. I choose to be hopeful and I won’t let anyone steal my joy!!!

Speaking of hope, as we all settle into the new normal of life these days I thought I would reflect on the good things that have emerged so far that I’ve seen – the silver linings, as it were. Now I am not that naive to not realize that things are not peachy for lots of folks and that we are plagued by fears, anxiety and uncertainty all over the country and world, but this is not the blog post for that. This is the post about what I see as light in the darkness that surrounds us. Our attitude is shaped by what we focus on, right? Here is what I’ve noticed:

  • The abundant creativity and generosity of people for mask making. Not only are people making them in droves for medical personnel, but people are coming up with creative ways for folks to make them out of ordinary household items (bandannas, socks, etc) and are sharing them!
  • More family time. I have spent more time with my husband and son over this time. Even though Zach has been climbing for over a year, only last week did my husband and I go with him to support him in this activity. Now, would he rather be with this friends? Perhaps, but that is not the point. I think he even enjoyed being able to share this with us firsthand. Yesterday, I even shared my lunchtime run with my son – on a Monday. That has never happened before!
  • More doggy walks. I have increased my walking time by 100%. Before the pandemic hit my dog was lucky to get a walk once or twice in the morning before work. Now we are averaging about 3 walks a day. This is so good for my physical and mental health in addition to keeping a happy dog!
  • Virtual Church! We have been able to share our church service highlights on the web for Sundays and now for Holy Week. We also have started a virtual women’s bible study on Zoom that has enabled women even outside of the Hudson community to join in.
  • Increased communication. My sister and parents and I have committed to a nightly 30 minute family check-in on FaceTime. This has been a great way for us all to stay connected, share updates and just chat. Not to mention the miracle that my folks now know how to FaceTime (tee hee)! Before this I would probably connect with my parents weekly, if that, and maybe monthly, if I was lucky, with my sis.
  • Increased online opportunities. It seems that so many opportunities have cropped up for folks to virtually experience things that are unavailable “in real life” right now. From exercise and yoga videos, museum tours, celebrity performances, and neighborhood social hours, there are so many new opportunities for folks to connect with others, explore new interests or continue to practice self care. It really is amazing and is a huge benefit of the technology that is all around us. I find it fascinating that in the past I saw so much of the negative in social media, but now I can only think of how life giving it really can be if used with a good purpose. Maybe it is my change in perspective? Hmm.
  • Being/Staying in the present. This is the best one. And also the hardest for me. I’m an extrovert, external processor, planner, and all around person who gets her energy from being around people. This is a time when those personality traits/strengths are not entirely useful and actually are not productive. This is a challenge for me to say the least. But, what I am learning is to embrace this whole being in the present thing. Not just after my yoga class and repeating “namaste” to the teacher and then rushing off to hurriedly get to the rest of my busy day. I’m talking about actually being in the present moment. Like my dog is. I’m not in control of the future, but I can take on today. There is a certain freedom in this, actually. Thinking about this idea, the lyrics of a Bob Marley song keep coming to me, “Don’t worry about a thing. Cause every little thing is gonna be alright.” Yes, I believe it will be. Do you?

One thought on “The New Normal”

  1. Well written as usual, Lisa. Am even more proud of Zach when I see that there were only 18 tuition remission openings. How fortunate for him although I feel sure it was more than good fortune. Zach has a very positive way of presenting himself. You totally have the right idea of focusing on the positives. I find myself slipping on thats some days. Good, positive blog!

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