Imagining a New Normal: What Do You Want to Keep From This Time?

Photo by Ingmar H.

Yesterday, BC announced its phased plan to slowly loosen restrictions and re-open the province. We are in a really good position to safely begin opening up our lives and economy. This means that within a week or two, I may be able to get together with small groups of friends and maybe even HUG some of them. HUGGING!!!

What a dream.

But before we all start poking our heads out of our caves, blinking at the sunlight, and wiping the cheezie dust from our cheeks, there is something else to consider: what do we want to keep from this time?

Many people, including the Premiere of BC, have pointed out that going back to "normal" isn't necessarily what we want.

Normal included overwork and exhaustion. It included exploitative work practices. It included pretending we were okay when really we weren't. It included (in BC) an already-existing public health crisis: the opioid crisis. It included a society barrelling as fast as it could towards climate change.

There were a lot of things that were broken with "normal" as a society.

On a personal level, in my old normal, I often felt like the walls of life were a little too narrow. Life felt rushed, hectic, and never quite right. Like I had to strive for something that wasn't there, but I wasn't exactly sure what that something was.

In this new reality, I have had my challenges, but many of my old issues receded.

So. I may not be able to fix the opioid crisis or change labour laws to be more generous as we envision a new future, but I do have some say over my own life.

What do I want to keep from this time?

I want to keep being honest with myself and others about where I am at and how I am really doing.

I want to keep being generous with myself and others, remembering not to take things personally, to allow space for whatever might be going on at the time, and to prioritize things that feel good.

I want to keep being aware of what I need at the moment and freely giving it to myself.

I want to keep being patient with myself and others.

Basically, during this time I have been more kind, compassionate, and generous to myself and others than ever before. I want to keep that.

I know that once I go back to commuting into the office every day and life's routines kick back in, this will become harder. The walls of life will become more rigid and demanding and there will be less space for softness.

But now I know what it's like to be soft. I hope that makes it harder to give it up.

What about you? As you imagine your life moving forward, what do you want to keep from this time?

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