The Semblance of Normality

Like many millions of people these last few months, I am guilty of wearing semi-blinders as I went into the shutdown. I tried to schedule and conduct my life as close to the way it was before we went viral. I had accepted the fact of the pandemic, of the threat to my life and others, of the necessity for social-distancing and shutting down the economy.

But, I tried to maintain semblance of normalcy. I went to the store on the weekends, as usual, not just to see if there was any toilet tissue or paper towels or to snag just one more bag of beans or rice, but to keep to my old schedule as much as possible, as if this hadn’t affected the rhythms of my life, as if my days were still wholly under my command. I banked on the belief that this would be over soon, and my life would return to normal, since it hadn’t strayed too far away from it to begin with.

I am still holding on to my normal, or at least tying to behave like my life is normal. But, should I be? Is that what’s best for me today?

I don’t know if this is a period of unprecedented change, but it’s an unprecedented period of change. A pandemic spilling into a shutdown and shutdown protests spilling into political protests and riots against police brutality and racism. The exposure of flawed international governmental and economic infrastructures, multi-millions out of work, the forced rise of remote work and education, and hundreds of thousands dead.

This is a stressful period of monumental change for an incredible amount of people and the more I think about it, it seems like it would be a mistake for me to come out of this completely unchanged, for me to exercise my will to make sure my life proceeds exactly as it has for years.

I hope I’m not the only one, but I feel like the present disorder is has a silver lining. The box has been shaken. The pieces are in disarray. New doors are gaping open. It’s a good time to make some changes.

Change is here. Change caught hundreds of millions of people unawares and kicked them out of their old lives, and the ripples of that, of them having to adjust to new lives, new situations, opportunities, choices, options, and new dangers will be shaking the box for decades.

Other people don’t have the luxury of being able to retain their old lives. And, they may not want to. They may be happy for the changes, and the opportunity.

Should I be one of them?

Should I let this period of change pass me by, to achieve a semblance of normalcy? Would it be irresponsible of me not to make some changes, myself. The world is changing. Shouldn’t it change my life, too?

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