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From My Perspective: Returning to normal

It’s a time for new beginnings, which is fitting as Montana starts Phase 1 of re-opening the state, and a beginning to our “new normal.”

I feel like this new normal will be a little different for everyone. Some will go back to exactly the way things used to be for them, while others, maybe not-so-much.

If you all remember, not long ago I wrote about wanting to be “un-busy.” The forced shut down due to a pandemic may just have been a blessing in disguise. No, please don’t read that wrong. I’m not saying the coronavirus itself is a blessing, because illness in any form is not that. But the time it’s given me, that is a blessing.

You all might also remember my first ever column in the paper about finding the good and that I try to look for the positive in everything. So, amidst the negative of a pandemic, I still choose to look for the good things.

So, what’s the good? I’m sure it probably looks different to everyone. Here are my takes on the good, both from a personal perspective and an observance of the community around me.

From my perspective, we as a community pulled together. We promoted and supported local businesses in a way that I hadn’t seen before. Local businesses and individuals donated time and money to those who needed it. A lot of people took a break from their crazy lives and spent time with their families. Businesses took an opportunity of the downtime to make repairs and renovate their establishments. People checked in on one another, ran errands for some of the elderly folks, and made sure people in general were taken care of. Those are all good things.

On a very personal level, I feel like I was given a gift of time. Time to do some reflecting, soul searching and, in all honesty, a little bit of panicking as my classes throughout the U.S. began cancelling.

Once I got through the panic and focused more on “just today,” these are the things I realized: I can live a pretty simple life – and enjoy it. I actually like being home and doing “home things” without the interruption of this meeting, that meeting or having to meet deadlines. It gave me the time away from all of that and in doing so, the ability to see what I really missed, didn’t miss at all and what I really want to return to. I spent more time being creative and less time being obligated. Most of all, it gave me the opportunity to just be and focus on me and my own family. I found myself spending less time on social media, and more time at peace.

During my time home, I saw a quote by Dave Hollis, and it made me think of all the things I’ve been feeling: “In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.”

Well, I’ve considered. My old version of normal was busy, and often times seemed almost unbearable. My new version of normal finds me feeling less committed to things that don’t feed my soul or things I’m passionate about. I don’t want to attend meeting after meeting and be owned by a “to-do list.” In my new normal, I want to spend time at home, with those I love. I want to work on our cabin and in the yard. I want to spend time in the garden. I want to spend time with my horse and out on the trails in fresh air. I want to encourage and inspire others to find their creative side and learn new things. I want to spend time with my sheep, process and spin their wool, and spend lots of time knitting.

Mostly, I want my new normal to be less stressful, more peaceful, with continued focus on the good.

When we return to normal, my normal will not be the same. How about yours?


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