What do you think of when you hear New Normal?

I will tell you, I really don’t like the term. I have used it to express myself in the past.

After my cancer diagnosis and all that entails, I told myself and others, I must find my “new normal.”

When I was diagnosed with metastatic cancer, and the normal I had become accustomed to changed again. I had to figure out another “new normal.”

My husband died – “New Normal”

My hip replacement was removed – “New Normal”

Many people in the cancer realm talk about finding their “new normal” and I get it. I’ve done it too.

It seemed I was always discovering a New Normal

Now with the craziness that is 2020, the term is more mainstream. We have all had to come to terms with a “New Normal.”

It seems as if jobs have become either virtual or “essential.” Kids are learning from home virtually. We have become experts at using Zoom and interacting with friends and family in a new way. With the overlay of Covid, the whole country/world is learning and adapting to a “new normal.”

But what does New Normal really mean? And why do we say it as if we were happy with the Old Normal?

In 2020, even before the pandemic, I started a journey to discover who I am. I have a huge crush on (or at least a strong admiration for) Bob Goff right now. Last year I read 2 of his books. I have listened to almost every episode of his Dream Big Podcast. I am currently reading his latest book Dream Big and I also signed up for his Facebook Writing Class.

In his book Dream Big, he asks 3 very simple, yet very complex questions:

Who Are You?

Where Are You?

What Do You Want?

“Where you are today is simply the harbor from which your ship is about to sail.”

Bob goff, dream big

Some people might read that and name their ship “New Normal”

But after navigating the waters of so many waves and upheavals, I think I would rather name my ship “Great Expectations”.

I am choosing to not think of things in the terms of “new normal” anymore.

For me, that term implies I was satisfied, or maybe comfortable, with my “old” normal. When in fact, if I am honest about Who I am, Where I am and What I want, I would have to admit I have not always been happy with the “old” normal. So why would I think change or a new normal would be a bad thing?

I’m the first to admit that change is hard. And unless we are seeking change, it can hit us like a car careening out of control that crosses over into our lane and hits us head on – without much warning.

It has taken me a long time to understand that I haven’t always known what I wanted. I was too busy trying to understand what others wanted or expected me be – parents, teachers, friends, kids, bosses – and seeking their approval believing that was what I wanted also.

So…What do I want?

I’m still working on that answer. But I do know I want to have great expectations. I want to embrace the change and point my sails in the direction to allow the wind to take me on a new course where I can explore opportunities. Perhaps those opportunities were not on the horizon that I was gazing at for so long.

I am shifting where my eyes are looking, so I can see a new horizon, one that will likely include change. But I am going to trust that the wind that is guiding my sails will lead me to something beautiful. And if I have to pull into a harbor for some rest, that too, may lead to an opportunity to reset my sails before I relaunch.

Happy sailing from wherever you are launching from. If I see your ship sailing near mine, I will wave and say hello.