The “new normal”.  Every news outlet is talking about it.  For those who avoid change, their struggle is just beginning.  People have been locked down for weeks on end.  Some have embraced being hunkered down.  Others, defied it.  My mother has a saying, “only boring people get bored”.  Never did I think the entire world would be put to the test of this.  Those that followed the guidelines and sheltered at home, were challenged with keeping themselves active.  For some, another saying came into play, “it was like watching grass grow”.

I’ve thought about that while hunkered down these last two months and can say watching grass grow is actually becoming quite exciting.  Clearly those folks were never home enough to actually watch grass grow because then they would understand, like me, just how interesting it is to watch the lawn crew come each week.  Who knew grass grew so much in a week!  As always, context and perspective help us evolve.

Context and perspective.

Two interesting concepts.  I’m remembering the story of two children thrown into a room with a pile of manure.  One child begins crying uncontrollably while throwing themself on the ground, the other excited, thrilled, laughing, digging frantically to find the pony responsible for the pile of manure.

Perspective.

Your perception becomes your reality.

Today, everyone is hyper sensitive to everything.  Whomever would have thought to wear a mask—or not wear a mask would define your political views, how courteous you are, if you care about others, if your parents raised you right, or if you have fashion sense.  Amazing how a little, simple face mask can be so telling.

Simple tasks such as going to the market have become beacons for how a person follows directions.  One way aisles, social distancing markers on where to stand and plexiglass barriers have become a part of our lives.  Some folks apparently never learned to pay attention, as they are wondering around going the wrong way, ignoring directions, as people glare at them.  I would hate to see these people driving in large cities with one way streets.  My question is, when will the passing lanes be implemented?

This morning, Joni Mitchell’s song “Big Yellow Taxi,” came to mind.  If you don’t know the chorus:

Don’t it always seem to go

That you don’t know

What you’ve got 

Til it’s gone

Some days, it feels like a lot of what we had is now gone. Simple things like shopping, working out at the gym, walking on the beach, going to a movie, or just leaving the house have potential to expose us to a life threatening virus.

Do we appreciate our lives enough?

There are people clinging to life from cataclysmic illness begging for one more day.  While others abuse their bodies with the careless excuse “you have to die of something”.

Why do we go through time ignoring the amazing wonderment of life, to only appreciate it when the threat of losing life happens?

If only we could go back to 6 months ago.  Germs weren’t on the radar.  We were safe in a country that was flourishing.  Our biggest news stories—who in Hollywood was cheating on whom, the newest diet fad guaranteed to lose weight fast, and the incessant fighting in D.C.

How quickly our world changed.  Our bubble of safety broken.

The other day, I witnessed two people fighting.  Over what you ask?  A canister of baking yeast.  Whomever would have thought the American populous filled with fast food, prepared food, impatient mindsets would be fighting over baking yeast.  Yet, here we are.

First it was paper products.  Your wealth was defined by your stockpile of toilet paper.

Second society went for stockpiling rubbing alcohol and aloe vera gel.  The ingredients to make hand sanitizer.

Third was the shift to meat.  As there might be a shortage there.  Markets had to limit quantities.

Now we apparently are on a baking frenzy.  Forget about the bakeries surrounding us, we must fight over yeast to make things ourselves!  Prior to now, I was a lone wolf in baking bread.  Now, apparently, I have many fellow bread bakers.  Do they realize it takes hours to make bread, or are they merely fighting over yeast because it’s been reported in short supply?

Do we as a society just like to fight and stockpile?

We can look back on January and wonder at the trivial things we let consume us.

Why did we spend so much time clutching after things that don’t matter?

Were we fools, taking life for granted?

There are always people in much better fortune than us—and conversely in much worse.  Why do we not see the goodness in our own lives instead of comparison shopping our lives to others?

That grass we are watching grow over the fence might look greener, be careful it isn’t spray painted.  Maybe we should just water our own yard.

Why are we so afraid of change?  Afraid to a point we would rather sit in misery than manage the change.

Inevitably, when that change is forced on us, we get angry, feel pity, blame everyone but ourselves.

We can embrace the change, look at the positive and evolve.  Manage our own change.  Control it.  Or we can push back on the change, stress, get angry and let the change force itself on us.

Perception is our reality.  Be it positive or negative.

We live in a time that every person in history before us would have traded places in an instant. For many of them, it would’ve seemed an incredible utopia.

Be grateful for what you have, manage positive change and let your reality flourish!  Remember, there must be a pony in the pile of manure somewhere!

Stay healthy!