Are We Really Back To ‘Normal’?

As I sit to write this post, Independence Day beckons. News stories about picnics, gatherings, and fireworks abound. How comfortable do we feel moving among a crowd when we know so little about the health and vaccination history of the people crowding around us? I confess to a bit of trepidation, yet I have already stepped out, joining other writers for an event in Columbus June 24. Almost everyone removed their masks, and the atmosphere was one of celebration and thanksgiving. We the people were back together, filled with hope and the promise of that return to normalcy everyone continues to mention.

But what is normal? As a writer, I have spent the past eighteen months in my definition of  ‘normal,’ sitting at the computer creating new stories and revising old ones. Not so very different from the way I conducted my day during pre-pandemic times. However, in the midst of the enforced isolation, I believe forged a ‘new normal,’ one which will serve going forward as a blueprint for my own productivity. I have contemplated the busyness of my life before and made decisions regarding which activities I can relinquish, which ones I must retain. I have practiced saying no in the cyberverse so that I could deliver that decisive word in the real world. It isn’t an easy thing to give up established patterns of volunteer work, meetings, conferences, although the extended isolation provided the necessary space to evaluate what really matters at this stage of my life. I have scaled down, cut back, pared my activities to those which most enrich me.

Every moment reduces to a choice. How do I allow my creative self the space to explore, expand, and grow? Whatever challenges the past year and a half have presented, the months have also given us time to contemplate our strengths and weaknesses, to weigh our plans and goals against the unexpected, to change the trajectory of our path for greater personal and collective growth.

As we walk, read, garden, write, travel, sing our way through July, the earth turns ever back to shorter days and longer nights. I think my pursuits will follow their own journey through time, spending more of it on what matters most to me and less on what the outside world demands.

What do you see as your ‘normal’? I’m interested in the changes you have made. Leave a message…:)


June 30th, 2021|Essays|

Slinking Into Summer

May 31st, 2021|

OMG, it's June...summer sun, sweat, sandy beaches, sweet tea, and Slurpees...this year a languid slide replacing the frenzy of the regular routine...remember bursting from the schoolroom doors, cheering the arrival of the long vacation? With all things virtual that have [...]

Don’t Stop Believing

May 1st, 2021|

As I write this note, the two-inch snowfall melts outside the window, and the weatherman predicts temps in the twenties tonight. I have covered all my tender peas, lettuce, and spinach, but my heart quails at the prospect of losing [...]

Between You And Me: How to Dialogue Effectively

March 31st, 2021|

How are you? That much-maligned conversational opening has evaporated this past year, along with all the pleasantries that human interaction used to bring. I may not be typical, but the most contact I've had with others revolves solely around the [...]

Riffing On February

January 31st, 2021|

Oh, February, guardian of the gate between ice and thaw, you scamper in with promises and leave before your time. February may be the shortest month, but it carries weight. It is a time to celebrate love and presidents, hearts [...]

While the fields are fallow…

December 31st, 2020|

January arrives with a dusting of snow, along with seed catalogs and clothing brochures featuring bikinis I no longer wear and island gear that mocks the winter creep of wind and cold. The former makes my mouth water for the [...]

In This Giving Season…

November 30th, 2020|

It's snowing, and the child in me dances for joy. Being a December birthday girl, my earliest memories remain infused with the delight and wonder of snowfall, the way it covers all the imperfections we humans have created on the [...]

Go to Top