“New normal”

If only I had a pound for every time this phrase had been uttered this year. I think we would all be rich. 2020 has provided many many versions of a “new normal” already. From shielding to lockdowns to face masks and more, this phrase has been used to describe each new phase of life in 2020. And now we are in September the next “new normal” for many is the return to something familiar because for anyone who has kids, or like myself is married or living with a teacher, September means one thing: back to school.

For all those parents who have been tearing their hair out juggling work and home schooling, who ran out of ideas to occupy the kids in week one of lockdown, schools returning back is a godsend and a huge sense of normality returning even if things are a little different this time.

But for everyone who is excited at this prospect of some normality and sanity, there are many others of us who are settling into another “new normal”; with news anxieties and difficulties being faced.

Here at Ye Olde Shoppe B, my better half, has been anxious and stressed at returning to the classroom when only one short month ago we were one of the many households who were shielding and not even able to pop and buy our own milk or loo roll! It’s a hard concept to get your head around; go to work with multiple classes of 11-18 year olds, try to social distance from them and colleagues, but also try not to bring back an invisible illness to your wife who has the lung capacity of an 80 year old woman and is clinically extremely vulnerable to the ‘Rona. What do you do? And when you suffer from depression and function best when giving and receiving personal touch and reassurance, hugs and close contact as B does, how do you cope with distancing from your wife in your own home so you don’t accidentally give her a disease that will more likely kill her? Or do you not bother and hope for the best? I’m not gonna lie it’s a tough balancing act and the advice is basically to act as if there is no risk with B going back to school at all.

And so that is how we are entering our next “new normal”; distancing in our own home, trying to do what’s best and balancing physical versus mental health needs of each other. My only hope is that this is the last “new normal” of the year, but I fear that will unlikely be the case.

What is your most recent “new normal” looking like? What choices are you balancing in your “new normal”? Drop me a message! 💖

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