What is the new normal?

What is the new normal?

  • Jun. 1, 2020 6:50 p.m.

What is the new normal?

For everyone, no doubt, the new normal differs.

For myself, the new normal has got helplessly mixed up with the old normal, and I have discovered I am the same old me, pandemic or not.

Nonetheless, COVID-19 has wrought changes into my life that came suddenly, unexpectedly and not without a certain amount of trepidation.

Now, I find myself at home writing this column instead of in my office breathing in the dust of newspapers past, sipping coffee from my trusty old worn travel mug.

Today, I gaze outside through a lace covered window while sitting at an old wicker deskin my living room. Perched on my desk is one of those old-fashioned green lamps they used to have in long ago newsrooms and, sitting beside my fancy new laptop, is a little miniature typewriter.

And, if I close my eyes, I can visualize myself back there, back in the day, before COVID, before the changes, sitting in a newspaper office, banging out this week’s news.

But that was then, and this is now.

For myself, the new normal has meant changes. Lots of changes.

In fact, COVID has thrust me into a different world.

So, once I found myself here, in this new world, I decided the best and most practical thing to do was to consider my options.

I made to- do lists. I meditated and visualized. And, in my head I turned my house into a place of spotless order and cleanliness. A show home of loveliness.

Of course, the spotless order and cleanliness ideas have stayed in my head, never to be put into action.

And, before long I came to the sad realization that COVID might change a lot of things, but it was not going to change me.

I was still the same old, hang my coat on the back of a chair, slightly messy, slightly disorganized procrastinator that I ever was.

Finally, with the world, myself, included still reeling from the effects of the pandemic I decided the best thing I could do for myself was to get into shape. You know, feel good, feel strong, move your body easily, kind of shape.

The very thought of it made me groan and long for the old normal where I could relax, hang out watch movies and eat copious amounts of popcorn and move slowly, but purposely from fridge to couch.

But resolutely I ignored my own misgivings and set out on a 21-day challenge to become the new and improved me. Everyday I would walk and every day I would do a 30-minute work out.

And, surprising everyone, mostly myself, I am almost done. I only have four days left.

And I have to say that weirdly enough, my early morning walk has been the best new normal I have yet to experience.

In fact, it has been incredibly, delightfully awesome. I have walked in the sunshine and in the pouring rain. I have walked in the wind and in complete and absolute stillness. I have heard the robins sing and I have watched a tiny deer watch me, silently, from the safety of a grove of trees.

And, I have felt nothing less than a sense of awe.

I like this new habit. I think I will keep it.

A new normal. My new normal. And I think that must be a good thing.

An incredibly good thing.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Hub on Ross has announced it has permanently closed. (Photo courtesy The Hub on Ross Facebook page)
The Hub on Ross in Red Deer to permanently close

The Hub on Ross in Red Deer permanently closed on Wednesday. “The… Continue reading

There were 410 COVID-19 cases recorded in Alberta Wednesday. (File photo)
Alberta records 410 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday

Central zone dropped to 160 active cases

Shaun Isaac, owner of Woodchucker Firewood in Trochu, is awaiting a new shipment during a firewood shortage in the province. All of the wood he has left is being saved for long-time customers who need it to heat their homes. (Contributed photo).
Firewood shortage in central Alberta caused by rising demand, gaps in supply

‘I’ve said “No” to more people than ever’: firewood seller

The Red Deer Senior Citizens Downtown House reopened earlier this month, after closing in March due to the pandemic. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Red Deer Senior Citizens Downtown House reopens

The Red Deer Senior Citizens Downtown House was closed for months due… Continue reading

Guy Pelletier, vice-president of the Red Deer region for Melcor Developments. (Contributed photo).
Melcor has to redesign new neighbourhood after Molly Banister decision

City council disagreed with administration’s recommendation to scrap road plans

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney answers questions at a news conference in Calgary on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. Labour union leaders are urging Albertans to sign up to protest Premier Jason Kenney’s government through rallies and demonstrations and, if necessary, provincewide general strikes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Alberta union leaders launch protest website against Kenney government

Alberta union leaders launch protest website against Kenney government

Children's backpacks and shoes are seen at a daycare in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. Alberta Children’s Services Minister Rebecca Schulz says the province plans to bring in a new way of licensing and monitoring child-care facilities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Alberta proposes legislation to change rules on child-care spaces

Alberta proposes legislation to change rules on child-care spaces

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Sierra Robinson, shown in this recent handout image, 18, is one of 15 young Canadians who asked a Federal Court judge to compel Canada to come up with a climate-change recovery plan. The judge rejected their claims and the case will not proceed to trial but lawyers for the youths say they'll appeal the ruling. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Lena Fountain *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Judge rejects youths’ lawsuit that asks Canada to develop climate recovery plan

Judge rejects youths’ lawsuit that asks Canada to develop climate recovery plan

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces march during the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Friday, July 8, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Culture becomes latest front in military’s fight against sexual misconduct

Culture becomes latest front in military’s fight against sexual misconduct

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
COVID-19 death rates higher in neighbourhoods with more visible minorities: StatCan

COVID-19 death rates higher in neighbourhoods with more visible minorities: StatCan

Chris Touchet works to repair H & H Tire in Jennings, La., after Hurricane Delta passed the area Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. The day after Hurricane Delta blew through besieged southern Louisiana, residents started the routine again: dodging overturned cars on the roads, trudging through knee-deep water to flooded homes with ruined floors and no power, and pledging to rebuild after the storm. (Scott Clause /The Daily Advertiser via AP)
Hurricane Zeta hits Louisiana with flooding, power outages

Hurricane Zeta hits Louisiana with flooding, power outages

Most Read