When will this be over?
How many times have you asked yourself this lately? When will life go back to normal? When will this be over?
When Angie was fighting her abrupt battle of cancer, I cannot even tell you how many times I asked myself that same question. When will life go back to normal?
When will I no longer have to triple check that no one in my house is sick before swinging in for a quick visit?
When will we no longer have to time our outings based on the best days of health in between chemo rounds?
When will we no longer have to have lengthy conversations at bedtime to calm our kids fears and anxieties?
When will we be able to just be normal again?
When will all of this be over? And the reality is, it still isn’t over.
Even when it was over. Even after the last chemo treatment, and her last breath, and the last prayers as she entered the gates of heaven, it still was not over.
It just transitioned. It morphed from one strange feeling to another. Life has never been quite the same as it used to be.
It will never be over. Because the old normal no longer exists. It was rewritten by a new normal.
In life there are so many times where we transition into something different. A new job, a new baby, graduation, marriage, even divorce. And often all of those changes bring a shift with them that comes with a sense of hope and excitement for potential.
But not when you had no control over the circumstances. Not when your change was brought on by something you never in a million years wanted to happen.
This time right now is odd. Everything feels uncomfortable. We are trying to abruptly fit ourselves into boxes that we never expected to be in. Trying to express our love and empathy over phone calls and video chats instead of with a hug. Trying to do business in unconventional ways instead of face to face. Trying to teach our children remotely from a kitchen table with their siblings instead of in a classroom with their peers. It all feels forced and awkward and we ache for things to just be normal once again.
But it is in this space of hard things where we really find out what we are made of. It is in this space where we develop gratitude for the things we once took for granted. Here we actively seek out joy and hope instead of expecting it to show up in front of us.
Things will likely never go back to the old “normal” because by the time we are through, we will no longer fit into that normal. The old routines will no longer be a comfort for we will have outgrown that space as we enter into our new normal.
Nothing will ever be exactly as it once was, but there are ways to seek joy as we grow into our new surroundings.
Hi! I'm Jessy, one of the co-owners of The Norway Center Store and co-authors of the book Faith Over Fear: Walking Angie Home. My husband Kyle and I live in an old general store, converted to residence, with our three kids, Ally, Charley and Rad and our German Shephard dog. You will usually find me with paint on my clothes creating my next repurposed piece.