“Well of course it’s OK to crave normalcy”, you think to yourself. “Why is she even writing about this?”
Here we are, in month SEVEN of the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic.
We are grasping at ways to find our new normal, and what I am seeing in my clients is a deep grief starting to set in. We desperately need normalcy, yet nothing is normal. We try to find meaningful ways to fill our days, participating where we can, while still following mask orders and social distancing. Everyone knows the BIG things are gone: vacations weren’t what we planned, concerts and events are canceled, sports are canceled or WAY different, and don’t even get me started on school. We push forward in spite of extraordinary loss.
School is a hot mess. Some kids are doing virtual school from home, some are homeschooling, some have complicated hybrid schedules and some, like my daughter, are in school full time but 6 feet apart with masks, plexiglass desk dividers, and eating lunch at their desks. NOTHING about this is normal, yet we bravely move forward, making the best of it. Teachers, students, parents, and school administrators put on brave faces and grasp at anything that can feel even remotely like the normal beginning of school routine.
Meanwhile, it’s almost fall.
Fall is a time of change, of reflection, of new beginnings. I wrote about this in October, 2018. Fall is a time when we all push a reset button and start again.
We all know that the big things are important. Exciting events, milestones, and celebrations give us something to look forward to. But one thing the Coronavirus pandemic has shown us is the importance of our ordinary daily and seasonal routines and rituals. Getting up, seeing friends, seeing coworkers. Ushering in the change of seasons. All of that has been disrupted or canceled completely.
And this brings me to the whole point of this post: It’s OK to crave normalcy.
I have seen plenty of content online shaming people for grieving their simple rituals. How can you complain about college football being canceled when hundreds of thousands of people are dying? How can you think about your pumpkin spice latte’ during times like this?
Holderness Family Vlogs recently posted a hilarious video called “Fall Will Fix Everything”. While this was of course meant to be humorous, there is truth to this. We find comfort in our daily and yearly routines. Football on TV, a fire in the fireplace, and chili in the crockpot are some of my FAVORITE things about fall. We have to find ways to enjoy these small comforts, even if they look different than normal.
So, maybe the next time we hear someone complain about football or talk about their favorite fall spice, we can have compassion knowing that they may be deeply grieving normalcy and comfort. And all we need to say is “I know”.
I would love to hear what you are doing to keep some normalcy in your daily and seasonal routines. I, for one, am off to pick up some mums and hang some fall wreaths.