The New Normal

tree-poseOne of my friends commented in an email that I’d need to find my own new normal. How profound!

If you’ve ever practiced yoga, there’s a pose called the tree pose, where you stand on one leg to work on balance. I’m horrible at it, I wobble and grab all over the place and never last anywhere near 30 seconds. That’s a metaphor for my life right now. Normal seems pretty out of reach – and probably overrated anyway.

The first month or two will be filled with chaos. All the paperwork, financial and legal, is time-consuming and seems never-ending. The household tasks, cleaning up, sorting out, moving things around, is a huge job and I’m thankful for the teen boy squad. The big ticket things, selling the third car (selling the van, I’m keeping Maggie!) and the boat take time to prep for, and in this economy are not a sure thing.

Beyond that, though, what’s is my new normal, my balance point? Some thoughts:

  • I plan to go into the office more often for people contact
  • I’ll see my family & friends more, for the same reason
  • The boys and I need some rituals and pastimes that will pull us closer together as a family
  • The boys (at 17 and 20) will have to go solo during my business trips to Anchorage
  • I need new routines for taking care of the house and yard, which Bryan helped tremendously with (and I’m highly allergic to grass) – I had a landscaper do my spring cleanup and am starting a biweekly housekeeper today
  • I need a fresh, less-work-intensive approach to cooking and kitchen cleanup, and the boys will do their own laundry. (Hello, crumpled look!)
  • I need a couple of selected external activities, structured, engaging and social, to keep my heart and mind challenged
  • I need to exercise frequently to help with mood, health and getting out of the house
  • I need to work out a new single income budget
  • Within that budget, I would like to travel

I’m sure there’s so many more things to think about. Going to movies alone? Watching tv more or less (usually less)? Playing music more often for background noise? More obedience training for the doggies?

The new normal is going to take a while. I hope I’m able to achieve something livable and maybe even a little extraordinary.

6 Responses to “The New Normal”

  1. Vince Says:

    I think you’re absolutely on the right track.

    And if may I quote Douglas Adams from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”:

    “…we will be restoring normality just as soon as we are sure of what is normal anyway.”

  2. mattw Says:

    What Vince said. Are you thinking about building in some time for writing? That might help.

  3. Becca Says:

    You will find what your new definition of normal is. Take it all as it comes. Life is not expected to be perfect, or perfectly falling into place now, but do what you feel you must. Find new niches for you and never give up on your writing. It might be a therapeutic outlet.

  4. Jeri Says:

    You all are right about the writing. Right now I’m not up to fiction – but non-fiction, essay-ish stuff and a personal journal (not just blog posts, either) are something I need to build in time for.

    Thanks for the support about ‘normal’. I’ve always taken the position that normal is boring, that variety is what gives life its richness – but I sure as heck wasn’t talking about THIS.

  5. MWT Says:

    My siblings and I were doing our own laundry at a very young age. Your boys will survive. ;)

    Also, yay yoga. :)

  6. Holy Says:

    the good news is that you are incredibly wise and stoic and human and dare I say, extraordinary.

    I want to get together with you – Seabeck Memorial Day weekend – and lunch when you’re up to it.