March 24, 2020
After that much-needed pit stop of Oreos and tears, it’s time to start thinking about this long-term-temporary-new normal.
Speaking here to work-from-home types for a moment (fully recognizing that many of us are required to be physically present for work and have to leave our homes for the good of society): Temporary-New-Normals are an odd thing, because we act in faith and hope that it isn’t a forever-new-normal, and yet it’s long enough that we really can’t just press “pause” on our lives and wait it out. This isn’t just one snow day (read: every day can’t be An Oreo Day), so we need to take a deep breath and figure out how to get back to work, even when things don’t “feel” normal.
During my spouse Jonathan’s last deployment, I was in seminary full-time, working 3/4 time, and raising three school-age kids. I absolutely took some time off when he left… but that is not sustainable long-term. Papers still needed to be written, youth events still needed to be planned, dinner still needed to be made.
What does your Temporary-New-Normal look like? We’ll talk later about what we AREN’T doing (spoiler: you can’t do it all), but we do need to think about what we ARE doing. What are your highest values for this season? What needs to be done every day, every week, every month? What are the things about which you think “If nothing else happens but _x__ does, it will be okay”? Since you can’t do it all, it’s really important to identify what you most value, and focus on THAT.
So open the blinds. Change into real clothes and not another set of pajamas. Stretch. Find a new rhythm and new routine. It won’t look exactly like what it did two weeks ago, and that’s okay… but getting through this marathon means we have to start putting one foot in front of the other.