Seeking Normal – Day 25

Day 25 prompt:

We perceive “normal” in the context of our own experiences. Someone who grew up with domestic abuse thinks that’s normal until someone who experienced a life without abuse shows you that the state you are in is not “normal”.

What about your normal have you come to realize isn’t or wasn’t “normal”?

My answer:

This prompt is too similar to ones before identifying the fact that normal for everyone of us is about our current condition, state or environment. What one calls normal another calls strange. The real-deal is living the life you want to live, how you want to live it and owning it. That does not mean that you are subscribing to norms or defined by anyone else’s normal it means that you ultimately decide what you want, how you want it and go get it.

It is our human experience and sharing those experiences that can create new norms for each other. It is sharing what we “know better” to those suffering unnecessary circumstances to help pull each other, not only out of a situation but one entire step up in your own life and others.

It doesn’t always have to be a tragic event. In my case I am finding a writer inside of me that years ago I did not know existed and then when exploring this new passion and coming to know other writers that make me realize that writing and being a writer is a norm for others. This realization means that it can also be a norm for me. I just have to give it the time.

Every single blog post has one common theme and denominator; YOU DECIDE. Every single cell in our bodies and moment in our lives exists because of a decision we made to eat, exercise or not, go to the party or not, welcome a new friend or not…it is all about decisions that we make along the way. If you are accepting a normal that is not serving you, you are deciding to live in that unfortunate state and likewise you can decide to change it. You decide.

Life as I live it – L.

Seeking Normal – Day 23

Day 23 prompt:

T.D. Jakes notes, “If what you see modeled in front of you is in any way deformed or deranged your concept of normalcy is defined by what you see. It is hard to be what you have not seen.”

If you believe this then how can you change your normal? Can you rise above a level-set of normal that is not modeled but dreamt of?

My answer:

I lived this but so did everyone else because our normal, as defined in our lives, was all we knew and it was only when there was something to compare against that you would be able to know something different. I lived this and have chosen a completely different path than what I knew. The start of what I changed was based on what I was able to identify as in-reach but as I have moved into different paths I have hindsight on what it could have been. While I cannot go backwards I am taking that new information to shape the world of my children and grandchildren.

The first recollection of a variation of normal for me was the idea of college. Both of my parents had attended a community college but never finished and ultimately were not in jobs that were the benefit of a formal education. My mom was a secretary and my dad a construction worker. The irony of my story is that in hindsight I think that I have benefited greatly from their careers as I have insane organization skills, learned by my mother who was the assistant to a CEO for years. As for my father, he is a dreamer which makes him a successful builder, able to bring a customer’s vision to life. It was in that learn of dreaming big that I have been able to manifest a life that I could only dream of one day and realized as a surprise once achieved.

Back to the point of college, it was not something talked about in my home or actively pursued as I was moving through high school. I only learned that it might be a consideration as I saw my high school friends considering their options. Back to the point of “normal”, my circle of friends, that would again define my normal, were in similar families and never did I recall conversations about going away to college. Our options after high school, as I recall, were finding a good job or going to our local community college. Ultimately we have all ended up in great careers however none of it through traditional norms. In some ways, I feel greater pride as our efforts were greater and therefore intentional.

This is a great thought-provoking prompt. I am still learning from other people’s norms and through the internet learning how to employ disciplines and practices into my own life. I am a life-long learner and thrive on learning new things and succeed in making those my own reality. What kind of normal defines your original knowledge of normal versus what you have since created in your own life?

Life as I know it – L.

Seeking Normal – Day 22

Day 22 prompt:

Gary Kiel (my super-handsome spouse) says normal is whatever is the middle in the group of people you are with at that moment. Normal resides in the middle of two extremes and can change based on the group dynamic.

What group best defines your normal?

My answer:

This is a great prompt and so very true. I have had so many variations of normal in my life and most, it not all, were based on the group of people that I surrounded myself with in that moment. When I am with my work colleagues we share a normal based on the common denominator of the company we work for and in that “normal” is defined as the shared experiences we have within that company. Other industry colleagues might have similar experiences but are different than our normal based on company cultures.

It is interesting as well when we join new groups and are introduced to new norms that we are not familiar. When I joined OrangeTheory a couple of years ago I was surprised at the normal as defined by many of the patrons that would go every single day. That was an admirable normal,as my body was too sore to go every single day, but those that were doing it were handsomely rewarded in the results.

Now is the time, before we “go back” to whatever we considered normal before the pandemic to determine if that is the normal you want to live in or if there is a “new” normal that you have decided to relate to in the future. In my case, I have slipped back into some of the “old” norms that did not serve me well in a previous life and as I sit here this morning I vow to leave those “old” norms behind and get back into those “new” norms that have served me well in the last five years.

Every day, you decide…still.

Life as I live it – L.

Seeking Normal – Day 18

Day 18 prompt:

Do you recognize “normal” in your life when it is at its peak?

At what point do you look back and realize that you long for “normal”? Sometimes it is a normal that you didn’t even realize you had until it’s gone.

My answer:

Well we are all keenly aware of what normal was as we are all affected by the lack of normal we likely took for granted previously. While we are now looking back and longing for normal I think there is a great many of us that are looking back and realizing that they do not want to go back to that normal. They are feeling better; physically or mentally, and in this new place are deciding that some of what has made this time different will now become a new normal.

I have found it surprising how much I actually miss the 1-hr commute to work everyday and being “in the office”. I now realize how much balance that offered as I was able to mentally identify work and home in their respective places. Now that my home is where everything takes place I find myself anxious as I have not easily created balance. We all know that balance is how you juggle the various roles you play and is so key to our health. My goal for this coming week is to identify an “end of the day” that I respect as much as I do the “start of the day”.

How are you changing your normal for the future? What have you recognized in this time frame that you relate to better than you did before? Is anyone making any large life changes? New job? New home? Share what is changing for the better and what you relish as your norm now that you have had the benefit of hindsight!!

Life as I live it – L.