Seeking Normal – Day 13

Day 13 prompt:

How much effort do you put into normal? Is it a routine, discipline or a “flying by the seat of your pants” kind of normal?

My answer:

Well as I have previously indicated, I put a lot of work into normal on a daily basis. I like rules and routines and thrive on lists and plans. Therefore I work to make my normal something as tangible as possible. This is key to my success in life but also defines my greatest weakness, disorganization.

I do not like to “fly by the seat of my pants” in any environment. Not even when I go out, I like a clear list of where I am going, a list of what I am going to get or do while I am out…I love plans! I am sitting here thinking about how I even apply this to things like shopping dates, theme parks, concerts, etc. I always scope out the website to understand where I am going, the best times to go, and in the case of a theme park I look to see what is the optimal route to avoid crowds. Organization is in every single thing I do in this life.

AND THEN…when it is not organized I am useless. Well not literally but ideally. I do not thrive in a messy environment. I do not thrive without an agenda. I do not thrive in spontaneity. I am truly a creature of habit and like to control my environment versus my environment controlling me. CONTROL…well that is a topic for another day! 🙂

This prompt really resonated with me. I didn’t expect it but as I allowed myself to simply answer the prompt with what came to mind I learned a thing or two about myself. Please do the same. Answer the prompt exactly as you read it and with the things that popped into your mind at that very moment. Don’t edit! Don’t polish it up. Let it be raw. This is where the truth lies.

Life as List it – L.

Seeking Normal – Day 9

Day 9 prompt:

People talk about the “new” normal. What was the “old” normal?

Did that label ever fit you?

My answer:

Well once again I could not have known when I wrote this prompt that I would one day be answering it in a world where the “new” normal is a daily condition. My “new” normal is working from home, seeing my grand-babies every single day or better yet as my husband reminded me today, spending more time with my spouse now than in the 24 years we have been married! Ha!

So what was the “old” normal; well the obvious answer would be the world as we knew it. Working weekdays, lounging weekends, socializing with friends and family and sometimes so routine that it felt like a dreadmill that we called “life”. Now I get the benefit of looking back and wishing for that “dreadmill” of “life”. There is something about deprivation that makes you want back what you took for granted so easily before.

If I am being honest with myself the “new” normal has become the “old” normal that I did not like. I always preferred weekdays as I found my life more routine and my habits more disciplined. Weekends lacked structure and a sense of urgency and now my “new” normal is like a never-ending weekend. I mean, it is different, it is more chaotic, it is more, simply put it is “more”. There is no break, because the environment stays the same 24/7. I am less health-conscious which is so ironic because I certainly have the time to do more; exercising is doable, eating right is accessible and yet I am doing neither. Why?

“New” normal, “old” normal; what does it really matter? Well it does because normal is truly defined as, “the usual, average, or typical state or condition” and in this world nothing is usual, nothing is average, nothing is typical and the only state we are in at this point is a state of stillness to the point of stupor. Those that are truly among the disciplined maintain their “normal” despite the environment and that is what I now long for; that is my new goal. Better said, I choose to create a normal that is neither “new” or “old” but expected despite the environment.

Wishful thinking for a “new” normal – L. (HA!)

Seeking Normal – Day 5

Day 5 prompt:

Why is normal even a “thing”? Does “normal” really exist? In what context have you used it in your life?

My answer:

Normal is how we describe life as it is agreed upon. Normal life is sleeping at night, working during the day, having a job, weekday, weekends, grocery shopping, cleaning, going to school… These are the things that we all take for granted as what “normal” looks like in our daily lives. Normal creates acceptance of a norm which creates common-ground.

Normal is a learned response that starts in childhood. If as a child you started everyday with breakfast at the table with the family that is YOUR normal while mine was a bowl of cereal alone before I walked to the bus stop. Both are “normal”, different as they are there is common ground in breakfast being that norm regardless of the routine that surrounds it. My normal did not include church on Sunday’s however it was normal for many of my friends and so I was exposed to their normal when I would spend a weekend with a friend and attend church. It felt “out of the norm” while I enjoyed it and longed for it as my own norm. It is in those experiences that I was given option to make new a new “normal” for myself.

To answer the prompt directly –

  • Normal is a “thing” because we are creatures of habit and normal is typically a series of habits we practice daily.
  • Normal does exist for each and every one of us and then collectively there are routines and ideas of normal that we agree on as a species, world, family or individually.
  • The context in which I have used “normal” in my life is to create the “normal” that serves to create a life that I want to live and not necessarily that I have lived. It is an acceptance of routines and habits that take time to adapt but when they come naturally normal has been realized.

What is your take on “normal” do you use it to define your life or to call out those that don’t follow the norms?

My normal life as I live it according to my own norms – L.

Monday…the day to start?

Today is Monday, the day we START everything we put off. Why is this the case? It is the classic “start everything” day, especially for diets and exercising. As I recall my 30 years of dieting, EVERY diet would start on a Monday. That meant that the binge would be ON all weekend! YUM!

As noted, Monday is the classic starting day but then what do the other days signify? Do you check yourself on Wednesday (Hump Day) and when Friday comes is any of that discipline left in tact?? By Saturday or Sunday many of us are talking about how we are going to start again on Monday…ha!!

I asked my family their thoughts on this and…

Gary said that we start everything that feels like work or takes effort on Monday’s because that is naturally the day that we start work. That might explain why we put off until Monday those things that we dread.

Cameron notes that Monday’s have not had quite the same meaning as his schedule in the F&B world never starts on a Monday so it has no “beginning” significance. He also notes that his life lacks routine, not discipline, but the routine of most lives that start hon a Monday end on a Friday, play all weekend and do it all over again.

Molly reminds me that the calendar actually starts on a Sunday. Hmmm…this girl always throws a wrench in it!

Brendan notes…well Brendan notes nothing because Monday’s are a gaming day, just like Tuesday, just like Wednesday…well you get the idea. The life of a gamer!

The way I see it is as follows; Monday is a great day to start again but so is Tuesday, Wednesday or any other day for that matter. The love of Monday is that it is the weeks way of starting us over; refreshing us. The same goes for the first of every month, New Years and our birthday’s.

I hope this Monday has served you well. Offered you a fresh start to a new week! Enjoy the rest of today; we have a few hours left in this MONDAY – embrace it!

p.s. Music loves Monday’s, name the artist:

  • Manic Monday
  • Blue Monday
  • New Moon on Monday
  • Rainy Days and Monday’s
  • Monday Monday