The New Normal

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about stages and changes we go through in our lives, and each arrival at a “new normal.” All of the childhood growth…walking, eating, talking, playing, learning. Then forming our little personalities along the way, developing strong opinions and learning to interact with others. Schooling, puberty, young adulthood’s independence, going out into the world. It’s all very exciting, isn’t it?

Each of the early turns in our lives seem challenging and new. We take them on eagerly, wishing for something different and fresh. We dive in wholeheartedly, expecting the best. We don’t always stop and think much about what’s happening, but rather forge ahead with all of that youthful vitality. It’s all about the fun.

And then we are faced with the challenges that make these transitions difficult sometimes. Money. Lack of work. Family issues. Unexpected events. We keep trying to jump those hurdles as they come, hopefully learning from each misstep. If we’re careful, we gather up some tools for future such things. If not, we may get lost along the way.

As we age, the transitions become different somehow. Slower. More of an impact on lifestyle. We start to age. Our bodies don’t always cooperate the way we’re used to. We must adjust to limitations. It can be depressing to give things up and know we are done with those things. We also dwell a lot more on these changes in our minds, which can be good or bad. It’s an emotional time.

We start to reflect on what we’ve accomplished in our lifetimes. Have we made a difference? Have we been happy? What do we still have ahead? Are we at peace with the world around us?

Now we focus on what we can do. It may look and feel quite different, and not seem possible to satisfy. But if we dig deep, we can find ways to make it so. New ways of doing things. New things to be interested in. Skills that sat dormant brought out, dusted off and used. New perspective. Gratitude.

So, I don’t think it has to be a bad thing to age and change. I like to think it’s yet another opportunity to embrace change, experience things differently and land safely.

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