Saturday, April 18, 2020

Defining “Normal” in the Abnormal ~ by Lynda J. Cox

I’m sitting at my desk, looking out my windows. It’s a beautiful, early April spring day. The sun is shining. It’s a little cooler today after the storms rolled through last night. It’s one of those days that should have me happy and questioning whether to start the day’s writing or start brushing one of the shedding collies. Should is the operative word in that previous sentence because writing anything has been an elusive pursuit.

Instead, I feel as if I’m trapped in some twisted, warped version of Groundhog Day. It’s the 304658 day of March. It’s resenting how deeply I have come to fear other people and the questions I have if they might be carrying this virus that has totally ground our nation—heck most of the civilized world—to a screeching halt. It’s deeply resenting a regime on the other side of the globe. It’s realizing there won’t be “normal” again, or at least not as we knew it.

For the last month, Dear Hubby, myself, and our two best friends who live less than 80 feet from us and who we share meals with every day (we haven’t decided exactly whose house we all live in, so the social distancing isn’t an issue) have been self-isolating in our little homestead in Tennessee. We all watch the news and wonder if the next time one of us has to make a trip into town for those necessities of life if that will be the time we bring this killer back to our safe spot. I wondered often if I needed to don a tinfoil hat.

A week ago, recognizing the downward spiral I was in led to only one place, I made the very conscious decision to limit my time on social media, limit the time I spend watching the non-stop coverage of this pandemic, and decided I was going to look for the things every day that I am thankful and grateful for. I made the decision that if the words were hard to find, I would seek them out. I would force myself to write. Before this, a good day of writing usually resulted in 1500 – 2000 words. Now, I count it a good day if I can drag 250 words out onto the page. However, it’s also another thing to be grateful for—it’s 250 words more than I was producing.

I know this too shall pass. I know, sooner or later, we will return to something resembling normal. I know I will never again tolerate anyone belittling those people who have stood in the breach for us—the truck drivers, the store clerks, the people who stock the shelves, the warehouse workers. I will attempt to never again fail to appreciate the ability to go where I want, when I want to go. I will hug those people I love and care for, because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. And, I know that the words will come again.

Listen to Lynda J. Cox's podcast episode here.

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