The New Normal

When 2020 arrived we celebrated and planned for a year of travel. We typically travel a few times a year but this year was set to be our best yet. We finished 2019 with an amazing stay in Paris and looked toward our annual summer vacation to other regions of Europe and France. Champagne was our first stop as soon as the weather was right. Just as quickly as I put our family travel list together the world was hit with a pandemic. What did this all mean…. first things first our spring break road trip from Miami to Orlando and stay at Universal would be cancelled.

The next thing I know school was cancelled and so was everything else, including my inspiration. During all of this loss I’ve had to shift mat focus and look at all of the good that is still left and that has helped me to start establishing a new reality.

I had to understand this new world. I had all of these old ways of educating and entertaining my children, entertaining my pets and entertaining myself and my husband that would have to be modified. I had a big task ahead. Not only did I have to change those habits but simple things like housekeeping and grocery shopping had to be changed. The was all so daunting and I would often finding myself needing extra espresso to get through the day and a good stiff drink to relax all of my anxieties and come down off of all the caffeine. It was a terrible rollercoaster!

I had to take some time and really think about the other times where life as I knew it changed forever. Times like when I left for the Army, when I got out of the Army, when my dad died, when I started A Tail & 4 Legs my doggy daycare, when I got divorced, when I got remarried and most of all, when these two little kids emerged. I started thinking of how I got through all of those forever life changing events and how I managed to survive. It all came down to changing my mindset and accepting things would never be the same.

With that in mind I made an assessment of what may forever be changed.

  • Educating my children
  • Casual days out shopping
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Dog park adventures
  • Visiting friends
  • Having help with housekeeping
  • Eating at restaurants
  • Having a night out with friends
  • Wearing clothes (instead of loungewear)
  • Leaving home without a mask or sanitizer
  • Playdates for kids
  • Hugs hello and goodbye
  • Birthday parties
  • Vacations and hotels
  • Group functions
  • Feeling Safe
  • Sports
  • Breathing lol

As I began with this list I addressed how to adjust our lives to make the new normal exciting and something to look forward to instead of fighting the change..

  • Educating our children in this new world offers us the ability to transition to homeschooling which will give us a lot more freedom and flexibility. I finally get to spend more quality time with our kids and there are so many tools today from apps, workbooks, free state sponsored online programs and learning systems that are available to not only keep our kids on track but teach them about things our family believes to be important like starting a business, homesteading, meditation as well as getting more sleep. We can vacay whenever we feel like it without the rigidness of traditional school. Plus we get to try this out with the rest of the world so there is no fear of falling behind
  • Shopping of any kind has become so awesome. I can order my groceries while I’m cooking dinner and either have it delivered or run out to pick it up. So many hours saved!! I just wish this had been available when my babies were babies!
  • Friends, OMG this has been the toughest! My kids have handled this much better than I have but I’m managing. My friends and I have found time to FaceTime and share things that are making us smile through out the day. I did a drive by one of my girls house and dropped a drink off so we could have a drink via FaceTime.
  • Housekeeping, I use to love Mondays because I would drop the kids off, run a few errands and come home to a newly cleaned home. Now that only happens when I am home. I had to make a real cleaning schedule and stick to it. Main living areas Monday, bathrooms Tuesdays and bedrooms Wednesdays.
  • Eating out, we still have some of our favorite foods that we can only get at certain restaurants so now we do a curbside pick up, take it home, reheat it to kill any trace of bacteria or viruses that my be hiding out then Bon Apetite
  • Wearing clothes, I just came to terms that digging in my garden is more important than Dolce and Gabana so I get up, throw on my garden gear and if I make it out of the garden at a decent hour I shower and throw on something a little nicer to live my life like a soap star. Evening gowns mandatory!
  • Vacations, hotels group events and anything dealing with interacting with other humans is a no go for now. I’ve used this time to slow down and get better acquainted with me and my family. I’ve learned video games are not so bad and my son and I are now in an intense mortal combat battle series, my daughter and I have had some amazing photo shoots and pampering time hubby and I have taken some time to revisit the past and discuss things we never had time to talk about like future goals on a individual level and how we could still attain them. We vacay more at our beach home and have done some awesome renovations and we have really learned to start taking time to use and appreciate all of the blessings we have.
  • We’ve taken our sporting from basketball and gymnastics to golf and swimming. We have to pivot for a moment so its time to explore individual sports.
  • Finally Ive taken the time to make first aid kits and stock them with masks and sanitizers so we never find ourselves in a situation where we don’t have them and we need them.

Once you have taken the time to acknowledge what you need to come to terms with, a good ole fashioned schedule won’t hurt. Start fresh and new. We no longer worry about being in bed by 8pm because we are no longer worried about being up by 5am. We take naps during the day and we smile laugh and play more because we have more time. This is not the time to add more stress to your life by having unnecessary restrictions, this is the time to figure out what in your life is unnecessary. We only get one life so no matter what life throws at you, you need to live it to the fullest!

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