Finding a New Normal

Well, it looks like we’re going to be here for a while. Aside from learning new things personally and professionally, I’m taking the time to relive older parts of myself. The Grateful Dead and The Doors weigh in heavily for their influence on me. I find so many lyrics perfectly, unintentionally, sum up our new normal. Come on, friends, I’m a hippie to the core. 

What a long strange trip it’s been. 

~Grateful Dead

Out here we is immaculate. Out here we is stoned. 

~The Doors

Isolation has a way of playing with your senses. It makes you doubt what you assumed to be true. To be fair, I am far from alone out here on my homestead. There is always a blur of boys in various stages of development tromping into the kitchen for yet another meal, prepared or scrounged. Comfort foods top the lists. Chips, cookies, and ice cream enjoy short-lived lives here. 

I’m finding even the tenuous regular connections to society take on lesser and lesser importance to me. Am I turning into a full-time hermit? Once I get there, I’m fine, but my feet drag on the long trek over to my computer. My fingers slog heavily to log onto Zoom calls, whether for business or pleasure. Am I the only one feeling the colors drain from these manufactured interactions? 

Like many other female colleagues, I’ve put away my face paint for now. My toes are begging for new polish. Ponytails and messy buns are the hairstyles of the day. Today, I feel sassy. I braided my ponytail. Thin, fine hair has a way of mocking these developments anyway. 

The weather is turning into spring, whether we care to participate in any way or not. Warmer weather prompts open windows. I hear more birds now without rushing through my day, without the rumble of trucks and trains rattling in the distance. Even the neighbors, fairly far away and mostly unseen, seem less interested in wasting money on firing away the ammunition for fun. The targets will be there later. I imagine them thinking those bullets are better spent on hunting food for their families or protection against all the supposed boogiemen and drug addicts who will be coming. 

I’m not finding any pleasure is conjuring up images of zooms day. Does that mean I’ll be one of the first to go in the inevitable zombie apocalypse? So be it. While I continue my training in kung fu, I am still far from a fighter. I’m that gentle flower standing by while the storms rage on around me. Waiting for the sun to resurface so I can show my smiling face again. 

So, this is where my new normal is. Waiting. Someday I may need to paint my face and toes and go out into the world. I may even go so far as to curl my hair and wear big girl shoes. But today is my new normal, tucked safe at home just abiding. 

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