Tuesdays with Jerry
From his meowth to your ears
What is normal. Obviously how we are all living right now is far from normal. The hours in our days are not spent how they normally are. Our mornings maybe are later. Our evenings longer. Our sleep just, off. It’s strange out there, and boy how we’re all craving some sort of normal. Jerry is.
Who am I kidding, Jerry is living his best lock down life.
So what can we do but cling to anything and everything that feels some sort of normal. A morning routine. Movement of any kind. Fresh air. We all need something, anything that keeps us sane, keeps us living some type of routine. While we wait. For normal to come back.
Back to normal.
This phrase. Back to normal. I think we can all agree that whatever normal will look like in the coming weeks/months (longer than months? Jerry calm down…) will be far from the normal we once knew.
But ya know what, I’m happy about that. No, wait. I’m hopeful for that. Because if I’m not hopeful, the alternative is fearful and that simply won’t do. Hope is the only thing stronger than fear, so I must choose that. Or I’ll lose my mind.
More than it’s already lost. Real cool, Jerry. Calm down.
You know who has hope? Jerry. He hopes this lasts longer so he can keep suffocating me with his love.
I’ve been thinking for a long time about normal and what I have accepted normal to be in my life. And in times like these, we’re all out here in our own way hoping and waiting for the days of getting ‘back to normal’.
So what was it?
What was normal to you?
For a long time, normal to me was:
- 10+ hour work days
- 24/7 notifications
- Spending hours on frivolous tasks. What did I actually stress out about before all this?
- Spending hours scrolling
- Never feeling like I was doing enough
- Running at full speed constantly
- Never getting a full night of sleep and pretending I was fine
- Bigger, faster, easier, one click away
- Burning at all ends. Trying to work, work harder, see friends, visit family, practice #selfcare (pshh please), rest, be social (ha! not), JERRY
But normal was also:
- The option to go hang out with people, the option to go literally anywhere
- See my family and play with my nephew
- Laugh, play, and have a blast on a daily basis with some of my favorite coworkers, members, and friends
- Entertain dozens of people while they worked their butts off in a killer workout
- Go out for dinners
- Catch up with friends
- Brutal morning workouts with my favorite group of psychos
- See shelves fully stocked and think nothing of it
Normal was not having to worry about getting your parents sick simply for going to visit them. Or being worried the stores weren’t going to have what you needed. Normal was not having to worry about every single healthcare worker staring a deadly virus in the face every minute of every day.
Try this. What was “normal” for you? Normal for your work life, your home life, your fitness or food life. Think about it. Maybe jot it down. The good normal. And the wow-now-that-I-think-about-it-that-was-absurd normal.
Because you know what we have right now? An opportunity to accept the fact that back to normal will never be back to normal. It’s a new normal we’ll be going back to. It will look different. And we have the opportunity to change it. If we’re smart.
Of your lists, what stays and what goes? Was working 10 hours a day on 5 hours of shitty sleep healthy? Or does that go? Were the expectations put on you at work or at home realistic? Do you need to reframe your work priorities and have an honest conversation? Work is a strange term. Were you working just for the sake of ‘working’ or was it moving your business, your goal, or your bottom line forward?
Were your own personal expectations of yourself realistic or do you need to reframe your priorities..? Pushing yourself to do this, then that, don’t eat that, but wait don’t forget this!
I do. Dang it do I ever. I get it, Jerry.
And now here we are. With the ultimate slap in the face waking the entire world up to a harsh reality, but a chance to remember what the heck is actually important.
What did we stress out about before all this? Maybe those same stressors are accentuated because of all of this. Maybe they’re completely forgotten and replaced with others.
But this shift. This uphill battle of reframing your mind from what normal has become to you to what you know it should be sucks. We’re human and we’re creatures of habit. So for me. Working harder faster better is what I know and it’s what makes me feel like I have a purpose. I don’t know what the hell is going on or how this is helping me or anyone else, but I’m going to type away at this, that, and then run over here and do this simply because it makes me feel like I’m being productive!
Yikes. Cool, Em. But maybe sit the next couple of plays out, no?
I’m working on it. These are ideas and areas I’ve been working on for quite a while. I’ve been trying to learn that going at 100mph 24/7 is maybe not the way I want to live. Or work. And now, I just happen to be joined by millions as we all try to wrap our head around a new normal and what life will be like when normal comes back. The mental chaos is real. At times traumatic. But the only way out is through. And as painful and uncomfortable as it is, if we have the courage to create our new normal, so much of our old routine will look better on the other side.
How ironic that for so long, we raced home after a long day complaining at work just to get home and sit. And now here we are. Many of us sitting. And we’re asking for normal back.
So here’s to continuing to live day by day. To working smarter, not harder. And to remembering what matters. Let’s take a good long look at normal, and get back to it.
Oh but the completely savage 6am workouts? Yeah I’ll take those back right meow please.
We get it, Jerry.