Life: The New Normal

Painted rock at the beach – “Remember to Breathe 2020”

“The new normal” is a phrase I keep hearing. I’m not entirely sure what it means and I’m not quite sure any of us really know what our new normal is. It’s strange how quickly our minds adapt and yet how slow. How quickly it makes us cringe to watch actors in a movie shake hands or touch their faces. How slow we are to keep our own hands off our faces. How hard it is to hold back and not stand too close to a passing neighbour out walking. Part of me finds it easy to spiral into thoughts of the next months, the next year. What will our summer look like? Will Pearl be able to start kindergarten in the fall? Will Peter go back to work this year? At the same time, these things are all of my control. I can do what I can do and I can focus on what I can do right now.

As such, I hope you don’t mind if I blog a little more about my life here in the meantime. In the absence of social interactions, I feel like it’s so important to maintain the connections we do have. I’ve never been so thankful to be in this age of technology where we can stay connected on-line. Here’s some good stuff:

  • The text chain going with some friends where we’ve started sharing worship songs and encouraging Bible passages. One friend and her family are currently under total self-quarantine and when she reached out to ask if someone could porch drop some fresh veggies, another friend was on it so fast.
  • Mo Willems’ Lunchtime Doodles! We love the Pigeon books and the Elephant & Piggie books in our house and have been having fun joining him in his studio each day.
  • The overwhelming plethora of content made available on-line right now. Virtual museum tours, live story hours (including some of our local Early Childhood Facilitators so that we can see familiar faces!), church services from around the world.
  • The Mandalorian, which Peter and I just got started on. I’m not a huge Star Wars fan but it’s nice to watch something completely unrelated to our planet.

We also continue to be hugely thankful for the place we live. I know many are in places where it isn’t so easy to get outside safely right now. And others are in parts of the country where it hasn’t been sunny this week. While the warm weather might not last all month, we are taking advantage of it while we are able to and have spent much of each day outside, including hikes almost every day. We had our first hot dog roast of the year – not quite how we expected to kick things off but fun nonetheless.

Please enjoy these faces my girls made as they raced plastic boats down a concrete ramp:

One of the strange things for me is that a lot about my life hasn’t changed that much. It isn’t unusual for me to spend an entire day at home with my kids. And since we’re still on Spring Break, it isn’t weird yet that Pearl doesn’t have swim class or art class or our other normal kid activities. The strangest thing has maybe been not being able to pop over to the grocery store for a forgotten item. And, of course, not being able to get together with friends. We’ve kept the girls busy enough that they haven’t asked to go to the playground near our house and I’ve maybe never been so thankful that Pearl is an introvert!

And these are a few Bible verses that have brought me comfort this past week. As I’ve mentioned before, I try and read a Psalm before bed each night.

But as for me, my prayer is to You, O Lord.

At an acceptable time, O God,

in the abundance of Your steadfast love answer me in Your saving faithfulness.

Deliver me

from sinking in the mire;

let me delivered from my enemies

and from deep waters.

Let not the flood sweep over me,

or the deep swallow me up,

or the pit close its mouth over me.

Psalm 69: 13-15

We are not fighting a physical enemy the way that David was or the way that previous generations have. But we are caring for our community, both local and worldwide. Our weapons look strange because they look like almost nothing at all but they are powerful.

The following is (deservedly so) one of the most famous passages from the Bible. You may never have been in a church but you may have heard this recited at a wedding. (It was read at ours!) I read it aloud to the girls the other day. There is great fear and unknown right now but love endures.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:7-13

7 thoughts on “Life: The New Normal”

  1. Pearl and Rose look like they’re having a good time! And it’s so nice to see some sunny pictures, it’s been a very gray and wet few days here, and looking to continue that way for the week. But my family’s healthy, which is all that I’m really asking for at the moment for myself, so it’s another good day in that regard. I’m so glad you guys are doing fine as well. šŸ™‚

    1. They’re having a blast! I feel a little bit like the dad in Life is Beautiful, playing games as the world falls apart around us, but I think it’s good and I’m thankful to keep things normal for them for as long as we can. We’re waiting for rain here too but enjoying the sun while it lasts. So glad to hear you and your family are staying healthy.

  2. I’m so jealous of your outdoor photos. It’s been like Mordor outside in Indiana, and not just dark and doom, but really too cold to even bundle up and go for a walk. So, since you’re home with your children normally, and good advice for the rest of us? Did you keep a schedule before the pandemic? I had to make one, and I’ve given myself something to do each hour, which I then check off when I’m done. 11:00-Noon is blog hopping šŸ™‚

    1. We do keep a schedule and I’m finding it even more important for myself now. The kids have to eat at certain times and go to bed at certain times, Rose has a nap, Pearl has quiet time. It means Peter and I also have to eat and sleep at regular times and that’s good for us. We like to get up and out of the house in the morning; it’s easy to lose motivation otherwise, I think. I always get dressed and I always make the girls get dressed too and we are trying to keep up a similar house-tidying schedule. Normally, our schedule would be more oriented around out-of-the-house activities so we’re still figuring out what it looks like to have our days so wide open.

    2. I wouldn’t say a lot but it’s kind of relative. This year Pearl had swim, art, and a kindergarten prep class run by the school district, each once a week. Then we also have a Moms Group with our church once a week plus our Bible study with three other families where we have dinner together once a week. I try and work it out so that we only have one ongoing scheduled thing in a day and then we’ll fit playdates and walks and errands and library visits etc. around those things as needed. It gets us out of the house every day but means we aren’t running from one thing to the next.

    3. That’s a great idea! I’ve seen family members try and get their kid through two sports, dual-enrollment at the local college, and a part-time job. It’s chaos.

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