What is “normal”?

Context: I’m writing this whilst the country, and indeed most of the world, are in lockdown due to COVID-19.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about when things will return to normal, and what the “new normal” will be like. It’s got me thinking, what is normal?

I remember hearing a quote at a library conference once that really struck a chord with me. The library and information profession is a fast-paced environment with huge technological and societal factors impacting rapid change. I can’t remember who I heard it from, and I don’t know where it originated (bad librarian, I know!) but the quote has stayed with me:

The only constant is change

I really like this because nothing ever stands still – even the things that remain “constant” in life like our relationships or our jobs or our homes are always changing in some way.

Sometimes the changes are things that we perceive in a positive way, and sometimes we may perceive them in a negative way.

Sometimes the changes are things we choose to initiate, and sometimes they’re things outside of our control initiated by other factors.

It reminds me of another proverb about change:

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.

This is a useful reminder for me as at the moment I’ve been feeling like I’m lacking variety in my daily exercise and wanting to try new running routes to vary things – in reality the route will always be different and I’m already noticing that with the nature I pass 😊

So yes, we’re currently following some unusual restrictions in our lives based on an unusual situation (every news article I see or hear seems to refer to “unprecedented times”).

But does that mean our lives were “normal” until a few weeks ago, and now are “not normal”?

Or is it a part of our journey?

I’m choosing to see it as the latter and to embrace the situation.

I’m learning a lot from the experience and I’m sure some of the things that have come as a result of these circumstances (things I’ve stopped doing and/or being, things I’ve started doing and/or being) will be things I choose to continue to incorporate in my life as situations change.

What are you learning from your recent experiences?

How will you incorporate this in your future?