"I hope things get back to normal soon." That's what a friend said to me recently after my father passed away from cancer. I appreciated the sentiment which had been echoed by others before her earlier in the week. Strangly her words stayed with me for hours after. It got me thinking: what does back to normal mean? What is normal for that matter?
According to the dictionary, normal is defined as:
Most of us go through life doing the same thing day after day. Going to work, running errands, taking care of our families, etc. It's our "normal" day-to-day routine, right? The question is . . . when life throws us a curve ball, can we ever REALLY get back to normal? Perhaps, but not THAT version of normal. We need to create a new normal for ourselves.
Think about it for a moment. Whenever there has been a significant change in your life, for better or worse, your life changes. Whatever was considered "normal" to you before, will never be that way again.
Perhaps it was when you first fell in love. Your version of normal before meeting that "love of your life" probably didn't involve you speaking/texting/chatting with that person for hours on end. Your version of normal was altered. You literally created a new "normal" for yourself while you were in that relationship. If that same person broke your heart, your version of normal probably changed again.
Starting new schools, moving to a new town, making and losing friends, having children, adding a pet to the family, dealing with health issues and even losing those we love are all factors that force us to create a new normal. It's not something that we consciously choose to do -- it just happens.
I've had a lot of ups and downs in 2012 -- Quite a few health issues and the additon of a new puppy. Each time I found myself making more permanant changes to my life. With the passing my of dad I am once again creating a new normal - one without him in it. And while things won't truly get "back to normal", I am curious to see what this new normal will be like!
For those of you who are also facing an "alternate route" on your life's path, remind yourself that this probably isn't the first time a signicant event changed what's "normal" for you and it won't be the last. Things will never be exactly like they were before but it doesn't mean your new normal can't be wonderful.
I certainly hope so.