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A New Norm?

As we continue this journey that has been labeled as a quarantine, lock down, shelter in place, or plain old stay at home, we find ourselves in what may be a temporary norm…or not. If you take a moment and think about what life was like prior to the outbreak, we were scheduled out the “wa-zoo!” We needed 25 hours in the day to come close to getting everything accomplished and still didn’t have enough time…or so we thought. Now that the world has literally stopped, we find ourselves struggling to keep up…with what? That muscle memory again. Some of us are bored, some of us are busy doing things around the house. Some of us are being driven crazy by being around our own children 24/7. Some of us are being driven crazy by being around our own spouse 24/7! Some of us are being driven crazy by being in our own presence 24/7.

This is a tragic time as so many are suffering and dying. So many front-line people are stressed, struggling, and dying as well. However, for those who are relatively healthy and have their hierarchy of needs met, this is a time of revelation. Perhaps you may have heard or even said to yourself. “How do the teachers do this? It’s just my child! I can only imagine a classroom full of children who are acting like this!” “Who is this person I am married to? Because our schedules are so busy, I’ve never seen this side of them, or I don’t know who they are anymore!” “I am spending too much time in my own space which gives me too much time to think. Old fears, hurts, experiences, pains are surfacing, and I don’t know how to handle them!” I can’t possibly list all the scenarios, but you get the idea. This is a strange place and time we are in. What will we take from it? What will we learn from it? I am a firm believer that we must emerge as better individuals. We must emerge as better people. So, the question is, how do we do that?

I always say, I am no expert, what do I know. However, apparently some feel that what I do know, is worthy of sharing. If you don’t agree, it’s “their” fault for encouraging me to start this blog (LoL). Here are some thoughts. I hope they help.

Be still. This is hard because we are soooo used to running around like energizer bunnies. Make an attempt to work at being still physically.

Be still in thought. I am preaching to myself as well. “Yeah, Paula, that’s easy for you to say.” Ahhh no it’s not…that’s why I’m saying it (LoL)! I struggle with this. So, let’s hold each other accountable and work on being still in thought. Truly allow your mind, body, soul, spirit to rest. As you do so clarity may surface, and that Higher Being may direct you as to what changes you need to make and how you need to make them.

How can you do things differently and more efficiently? I think many of us have learned how to fix our own lattes or perhaps somewhat duplicate our favorite meal at our favorite restaurant. I would dare say we are all back in the kitchen! Don’t get offended ladies! We gotta eat (LoL)! Perhaps maintain these things when the doors of the world open back up?

We have survived being home and not running around like an energizer bunny! Soooo, is ALL that running around necessary? Can we eliminate some of those things and spend more time at home as a family? What an opportunity we have, during this season, to re-connect with the people who reside under our roof. Conversations that need to occur. Communication that needs to occur. Healing, perhaps that needs to occur. A wonderful opportunity!

How have you, or have you been able to make your home a more comfortable and cozier place? Our home is our sanctuary. Our escape from the world. There are things we can do around our homes to improve that space. A wonderful opportunity! Now you may say “we are supposed to be staying home, I don’t have the materials I need to improve my home space.” Yes, you are correct, however, most cities and towns do allow trips to the grocery store, bank, post office, Home Depots, Loews, Hardware stores, the essentials.

What kind of exercise regime can you create for yourself? Now, again, I am preaching to myself…. SELF DISCIPLINE is the key to this challenge! Many of you, again, who know me, may say “that’s easy for you to say because I see you working out every week.” That is correct but you also see me working out with a trainer. Why? Mostly because I need the accountability at this point in my life! Yep! Sure do! If was left up to me, unlike, during my youth, I may hit the gym once a week. I no longer possess the self-discipline of yesteryear of daily 2-hour work outs (what was I thinking?).

How can I restructure my life on the other side of this pandemic so I will be less stressed, less anxious, and more satisfied? I can’t give you a step by step strategy to do so. That will need to come from within based on the voice of the Higher Being and your own needs, desires, and expectations. I do suggest you ask yourself “what do I want my life to look like on the other side of this.” Answer that question for yourself. When you have answered that question, write the vision, write the plan to make that happen.

I don’t think any of us could have imagined such an overwhelming season. It feels as though we are in global chaos and there are no clear answers and no way out. Hopeless…or so it seems. In times like these, we must remain hopeful and faithful. Now, I know some may not be on the route of religious travel, but you too must at least have hope. Doom and gloom are not an option. No! There not! What purpose does it serve? What do we have to lose by being hopeful? I believe in the power of words and the power of thought. The words we speak, the things we think, I believe they have power. I am struggling, through this season, with staying positive. I wake up some mornings with a heaviness so deep, it is difficult to get up. Am I by myself on this? I then begin this conversation with myself about why I am feeling that way. I ultimately ask myself, if feeling that was is going to alter the outcome and what if the outcome is positive and good? Will I be ready? That motivates me to get up and make the best of that day! So, I say to you get up! Make the best of the day! You have children in the home? Whether you realize it or not, you are teaching them how to respond and react to crisis. I learned this years ago as a military spouse, as I found myself not handling a deployment very well.

I saw how my behavior was affecting my children. I had to make some changes in how I responded.

So many are in a panic, afraid, and hoarding. The grocery store shelves are empty. There have been minimal reports (that need to me maximized) that the food supplies are there and are being shipped to the stores. It appears there is a shortage because of the hoarding, not because there is an actual shortage. Perception then becomes reality and the cycle of hoarding continues.

I often wonder if the United States stayed home, shopped in a frugal manner and calmed down, where would we be? We have become such an instant society that we no longer possess patience an

d vision beyond the moment. It is every man for himself. There have been news stories about elderly seamstresses making masks for medical personnel. They just kicked into gear and started sewing. You may say, “I can’t sew.” That’s not the point. The point is they come from a generation where the country stopped, individuals, businesses, and everyone contributed. Everyone worked toward making sure the country had what it needed to fight the battle. We no longer have that mentality and thus we are in the dilemma of shortages and lack when it comes to essential needs for those on the front line. People were encouraged to grow their own vegetables so the food supply could go to the soldiers. Businesses halted production and began to produce supplies that would assist the soldiers on the front line. All efforts focused on supporting the country as a unit. We are the United States yet, we have lost sight of the “United” part. We could learn so much from taking a moment to reflect on historical times. What is the saying “if we don’t know our history, we are destined to repeat it?”

I don’t begin to know all the answers, I’m not an expert, what do I know😊 ?. My prayer is that during this crisis that calmer, wiser minds will prevail, and viable worldwide solutions will be discovered. We are a country made up of a vast diversity of people from all over the planet. The saying has been coined “we are all in this together.” I would venture to say, we are all on this planet together, can we all just get along?

Just my opinion, as is all of this. I hope it helps somebody. Until next time…embrace the journey.

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