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Preparing for the New Normal: We Each Have a Say

May 23rd, 2020 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, who gets to determine what the new normal will be?

For the past couple of months, I have stuck to my “Up Close and Personal” post series with photos of butterflies and dragonflies from summers past. It was a conscious decision to forgo commentaries and inject some of the beauty of nature into your lives as an antidote for the COVID-19 lockdown.

Now we are beginning to emerge, in baby steps, on the other side of that period of restraint. #flatten the curve and #stayhome are beginning to give way to #the new normal. We are being told that life as we once knew it has been flipped on its head forever.

There is no question that what we have been through is breeding change. The question is: How much change? Will it be a full 180º shift? Or only 90º or as little as 45º? I am not sure quite where the dial will ultimately land, but I believe we each have some influence over it.

A bit of perspective: normal is not a constant and never has been. What is normal for you might not be normal for me. What was normal for me at the age of 30 is very different from my normal at the age of 62.

For elected officials, normal is defined as whatever point of view is most likely to get them elected and into a position of power. But do not get me started on that rant!

Temporarily overshadowed at the moment is the fact that we already live in a world of constant change. What was normal six months ago might be antiquated today even without the impetus of a pandemic.

So, how do we chart a path through the uncertainties ahead? Let me use a real-life example to show the way.

Last Sunday morning, I fired up my laptop to log onto my church’s streamed service. Alas, no internet connection. After muttering a few four letter words, the following conversation took place between me and my less reactionary alter ego.

Are you done cursing? Reboot the modem, Michael.

Right, of course. What the (expletive deleted)? No lights on the modem at all!

Are you done cursing? Hit reset on the power bar, Michael.

Right, of course. Damn, still no lights on the modem at all. What the (expletive deleted)?

Are you done cursing? Check the electrical breakers, Michael.

Right, of course. Ah yes, the breaker tripped. Flip it back on. Modem working now. Internet working now. All good.

What is the point in relaying this internal debate? Simply this: Before we brace for what may be, we need to hit the reset button on our individual lives. Take some time to recalibrate and make an informed decision about what today and tomorrow will look like.

In the process, we have to ask ourselves a fundamental question. Do I want to live in fear and make decisions accordingly, or get on with my life and choose joy over fear? As for me, I choose joy

Here is the tough part. Taking that control and making that decision may mean saying to some people around us: You go your way and I’ll go mine. Never an easy choice, but having the courage of our convictions is what will steer each of us safely into a new normal of our own choosing.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at .

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