WHAT IS NORMAL?
I think it is important to take the concept of normal and put it into the context of “individual normal”. There is a sliding scale of normal and the marking points on that scale are determined by societal, psychological, medical, cultural, political, and spiritual terminology. When you look at it that way normal is so broad that no one or nothing are the same normal. Most would like to think it is possible because then you can lump it all together into a little box, set it aside, and feel good about it. Then there is justification for assuming and judging others or even self when there is a slight deviation from “acceptable” norms.
I prefer to look at normal from an individualist view because my normal is not my parent’s normal, my children’s normal or my friends and colleagues normal. There are of course similarities but that is all they are; similarities. There are expectations associated with the concept of normal and when those expectations are not met there is sadness, anxiousness, guilt, hurt, a whole plethora of emotions, thoughts and feelings that are “normal to have” but escalate into something more often leading to distorted processes.
This first really struck me when my children were ages 13, 12, and 9 (all boys mind you) and there was a minor argument with me because I said no to something they wanted to do and out of their mouths came “Mom! why can’t you just be normal?”. I remember standing there, looking at them and my mouth dropping open. How dare you say that? I felt hurt, angry, and put down and the next thing out of my mouth was “just so you know, I am normal, I am Lori normal”.
I remember after I said that I thought about it a lot. I felt like the worst mom. I had to, in that moment, justify myself because I was not perceived as normal. Upon further evaluation I had to ask myself the question Is my son’s perception of normal, in comparison with other parents, valid. Is some ways yes, and I readily admit it because I am not the average normal by any means but does that mean my normal is healthy? So I have to choice to keep the healthy normal as odd as it may seem to others, and work on my unhealthy normal for that new and improved normal.
My normal was and is not always perfect but it can be changed or perfected over time and that makes it all perfectly Lori Normal and that is ok.
Each of you are your own set of normal. What is YOUR normal? Is it healthy or unhealthy or a combination of both? And after this pandemic what parts of YOUR normal are worth coming back to? What do you want to change because parts of your old normal are unhealthy? More importantly what are you willing to do? Your life is your own just as your normal is your own.