Finding Another Normal

In the last two years people started talking about finding a “new normal” after the pandemic. We wondered what that would look like… Would we have new priorities? New goals? Would we come out of this more intentional? Compassionate? Loving?

After a few months of lockdown/masks/isolation, I think we were all convinced the answers would be a resounding YES… But now that we’re over two years into this sh*tshow, I’m not so sure that’s where we’re heading.

This is not a piece on human psychology. I am not a people expert. I actually try to avoid them at all cost.

This is a self-reflection. Because a lot has changed in the past two years.

I can’t say if it was parenthood or the pandemic (or a combination), but I am an entirely different human than I was in 2019. Things that mattered so much to me no longer do, and things I took for granted are now on my daily thankful list.

The shift could be the effects of depression and burnout. Lord knows we’re all feeling that. Why don’t I care about hosting parties anymore? Where’s my old desire to travel to every European country? Why do I feel less defined by my job when, prior to all this craziness, I was in love with what I did and what that said about me? It’s likely depression and burnout fueling an overall change that might eventually be for the better. I don’t know. I think we’re kind of in the thick of it right now so it’s hard to be objective.

Getting in the camper and soaking in hours and miles with K, M, Bristol, and Enzo sounds so good to me. Working half days and silencing my email are what I’d call “living the dream.” I want to read more books. I haven’t posted on my IG feed since Dec. 31st and that’s intentional. I don’t care about your political beliefs- if you’re not kind, you’re wrong. You don’t get to stand on the necks of others to exalt yourself.

More slow living. More loving like Jesus. More focusing on what makes me happy and celebrating others for what makes them happy. More grace in the workplace (& less stress). More letting my marriage be a priority. More letting my two year old ACT like a two year old. More dirty paws and evening snuggles.

The pandemic was not a blessing, but it has shifted our lives dramatically and brought us the time and perspective we did not know we were missing. In the beginning we soaked up days with our infant. Now we work to ration our time as a family and show up for the people we love, even when it’s tough.

It’s been a weird few years but this “other normal” is starting to feel good. I’m starting to understand the algorithm and filter to our “other” life. I can’t wait for the day we go back to not knowing what the CDC stands for, but until then I hope you’re able to piece together another normal that serves you and brings you peace and joy you might not have otherwise known.


On a totally different note, how about that halftime show?? Eminem was looking 🔥. And did you guys get yesterday’s Wordle? Danggg, NYT.

-Aud

An Extraordinarily Normal Weekend

I know the CDC is still making recommendations and states are revising their masks laws, but this past weekend was the most normal I’ve felt in such a long time. It was lovely and revitalizing and had me feeling warm and fuzzy and overwhelmingly grateful by Sunday night.

On Saturday one of my best friends in the whole wide world got married. I was her matron of honor and spent a large part of the weekend with her and her wonderful family. (They’re the kind of people you just enjoy being around; always laughing, always kind.)

My other best friend was the maid of honor and she stayed with us. Having her and her fiancee in the house was icing on the cake to a weekend-long celebration.

I know times are still weird. Honestly, Moo ended last week with a COVID test and if it’d come back positive, our weekend would’ve looked very different. But she was negative and we deduced that a double ear infection was the cause of her sickness. She now feels better and was even able to attend the wedding until grandma took her home for a sleepover.

And don’t get me started on the wedding day. So much love and peacefulness and celebration. I don’t think there was one single moment the bride would’ve changed- it was a perfect day.

We literally danced the night away. K and I were the last ones out of the venue- haha. I had such an incredible time. I think all the guests did.

It was weird to have a day that just felt so NORMAL. I think almost every guest was vaccinated. We wore masks when around the food. People were seated in pods but free to get up and move around. There was dancing and toasts and cake and lots of alcohol. It was such a normal, great day.

My soul didn’t know I was missing all of that until it was over. Sunday night I was folding laundry in our room, thinking about how nice it was to have a normal party with little reservations.

Today I wore my mask to the grocery store. I have not throw all caution to the wind and I know there is a time and place for intimate gatherings… but I hope that you’re able to have a little taste of normalcy soon. It feels so, so good to just relax for a moment and soak in the closeness of others. And that’s coming from an introvert.

Congratulations, Kayla and Connor ♥️ I hope you’re enjoying the hell outta St. Lucia.