The past few weeks have seen so many changes for all of us. We are having to learn to adapt to what I am calling the temporary normal. The keyword in that for me is adapting.
My sister, J, and I were making a run for supplies and had to stop at a couple stores to get what was needed since so many shelves were empty. In each of those places, people were practicing social distancing to keep the infection level down; waiting to go down an aisle until there is enough space to stay six feet away. Some, including me, were carrying a sanitizing wipe to wipe off carts and products. Things that would have seemed rude or odd just a few weeks ago are the temporary normal. Why, because we all have a common goal of keeping our friends, family, and communities safe and healthy.
I was overwhelmed with emotion going through the store. I needed something off a higher shelf when J was in another aisle but couldn’t ask for help because we are supposed to be socially distancing. There was an older woman in a motorized cart who probably could have used help getting something from a shelf. Even though I wanted to step forward to help, I stepped back so she wouldn’t feel uncomfortable. Another person dropped something and had their hands full. The instinct was to grab it for them, yet I couldn’t. After we checked out and left the store, I couldn’t hold back the tears. The feeling of not being able to help with something so small tore at my emotions.
I was raised to be a helper. It is a part of who I am. So that shopping trip was tough.
We are all going to feel a ton of emotions as we learn to adapt to the temporary normals as they continue to shift over time. So, what are some things that can help us think and feel through these shifts? What are things I need to remember to survive this whole pandemic thing?
I know this is not a forever thing. I know that there will be vaccines developed. I know we have the rare opportunity to spend extra time with the ones we love. We will have the time to love on them more and the time to get frustrated with them. We will have time to cook meals together and play some games. We’ll make time for FaceTime chats and extra phone calls. We have time to read more books and learn new things. We have been given a chance to slow down and enjoy small things that may have gotten lost in the midst of the day to day busyness. We can find new ways to help those that need us, even people we may not have thought of before. We have been given a rare opportunity in the middle of a not good situation.
I have no doubt that all of our emotions will be on the wackiest roller coaster ride ever over the next few weeks or so. It’s perfectly ok to feel every one those emotions. We’re wired that way. We also need to do our best to move through them to be able to connect with the people we care about in new and beautiful ways so we can all feel a little less alone.
What is something this new temporary normal is helping you have more time to do?