New Normal

New Normal

I was talking with a few friends the other day at the cottage school that my son attends. Since it was the first day of classes we moms were catching up on things that had taken place during the summer break.

One woman told me right before summer began that her dad’s cancer had returned and the prognosis wasn’t good. And now, she said, he is nearing the end. She was talking of the demands of dealing with all things medical, all the while helping her mom who has health issues of her own; and then she told me her teenage daughter had just been diagnosed with Type A Diabetes…within days of learning her husband had lost his job. Really?!! She paused and said she was waiting for life to get back to normal, “Whatever that is”.

I can so relate. That’s when I heard these words come out of my mouth: “Life is a series of finding a new normal”. At least that has proven to be true in my life. Life happens to us all.

People we love get sick, sometimes terminally.

Jobs are lost.

People lose their spouses.

They lose a child.

People lose a house or a business, or all of their earthly possessions in a fire or other natural disaster.

They lose a friend.

Some move to new neighborhoods, both far and near.

People get married.

Have kids.

All things which require us to find a “new normal”. Some things good, some things…not so much. Perhaps life is a mathematical equation too. Life= Losses + Gains. (I don’t like math). And when this happens, whether it is a loss or a gain , there is a demand placed upon us to buck up and find a new normal, and if necessary, create one. The choice is there to be made by all. You roll with the punches or fight it tooth and nail. One thing is a sure bet, circumstances will change and finding a new normal is necessary in order to survive, and hopefully thrive in this journey we call life.

How true is this in your life? Are you able to find a new normal when called upon to do so?

109 thoughts on “New Normal”

  1. Ah this is SO true! Each event in life seems to bring about a “new” normal. I feel like with each child I have (4 so far!) that I’ve learned to roll with the punches a little easier.
    I lost both of my grandparents this year that has been a new normal that I don’t like at all.
    Oh, I’d love for you to link up any of your older posts that you love this Friday for a new linkup- Flashback Friday!

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  2. Great perspective. I think I always do end up finding a new normal when needed, but it’s hard. Change is hard. But it’s true, change is an inevitable part of life, so it’s good to learn how to roll with the punches!

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  3. A New Normal. That should be my tag line! Like you say life is a series of gains and losses and it’s all about how we cope with them to make our new “normal” life. Thank you for your thought provoking post as I spend the rest of the day thinking about what my “normal” should be today 🙂 Krista @ A Handful of Everything

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  4. You express this universal truth so very well! I used to work with a lady who was constantly taken aback when something would change. “But I don’t like change!” she’d wail, as if she was the only one, and as if disliking it should somehow exempt her from it.

    I like the way you boiled it down: “You roll with the punches or fight it tooth and nail.” And I think there’s a time and place for both responses….maybe even at the same time.

    Thank for a very thought-provoking and enjoyable read!

    Love, Joy
    Yesterfood

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  5. I find this post really encouraging especially in our current state of transition. We just returned to the States from Germany and are living back in our hometown very close to friends and family. I know the next few months is going to be exactly what this post is about. Its encouraging to know that its normal to be normal.

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  6. Yes, life goes on… and as much as we like to think everything progresses in a straight line from point to point there are so many diversions along the way. Both positive and difficult.

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  7. This post couldn’t have been made at a better time. Faced with a situation at work, I may be facing a new normal so reading this post made me feel a little at ease. Thank you

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  8. SO true! I did a post on this myself just a month or so ago..I had to recently ‘reinvent myself,’ for lack of a better term, after a cross-country move, a layoff that resulted in having to stop the home purchase and wait a few months..while living in an RV with kids and dogs. Good times, good times. Anyway, we learned that normal is relative and it’s all about what you can live with and your attitude towards it all. I don’t miss living in our RV but what a bonding experience as it became our ‘normal.’ Now ‘normal’ is busy as we’re both back at work and settling into the house…still not ‘normal’ because we usually have more restful evenings and less running around. Oh well, life is what you make it and what you let it make you. Great post!

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  9. Change is Normal. If nothing in your life ever changes, that’s not normal.
    Once I started having kids and became a stay-at-home mom, I quickly realized that the more I tried to stay organized and on-task, the more “life” would laugh in my face. I was killing myself trying to do the impossible. Life happens, just as you said. I once heard someone say that you always to need to be ready for a rainy day, because it’s guaranteed that a rainy day is coming.
    Thank you for the reminder that each day is a new day and we get to start all over!
    Blessings …
    Lani @ Simply Fresh Vintage

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  10. Math and I are not friends. I have two normals, one is when my husband has a job and the bills are all paid and everyone is happy. The other is a layed off husband, food stamps and unemployment but I guess that comes with the punches of having a husband in the union. We have protocol for each situation.

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  11. I love (and don’t love sometimes) the verse from the book of Job that says the Lord gives and takes away– Blessed be the name of the Lord. We have to find a way to always trust Him, and depend on Him to get us through the rough times.
    –Gena

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  12. I’ve had several “new normals” in my lifetime and plan to have a lot more. Life is always changing that is for sure but my life now seems to be on a straight road and I like that. It’s time for my kids and building their futures. Great post : )

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  13. Sometimes I thought the “New Normal” in my life wasn’t very good. But over the years I’ve discovered that life does improve when you don’t fight it because we learn and grow and hopefully get better and not bitter because of our experiences, both good and bad. I have a blog that I have used for therapy – it is good to tell others about your struggles as well as your triumphs. (http://www.momofmany.wordpress) When you get time, please stop by.

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  14. Oh, so true! Change is the only thing that’s constant in life, right? It can get really hard when a bunch of things gang up on you at once, but it’s how you respond that makes the difference. I try to look at things as opportunities. Had the events in my life over the past year not happened, I probably never would have considered the options I’m looking at now. And I’m grateful that I do have options!

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  15. Change is inevitable and there is just really no way to prepare for some changes life brings you. You can prepare for the birth of a child but no one can prepare for the death of a child. It has been 4 years since my sister’s son passed away and they are just now finding some type of “normal.” If there is such a thing after a child passes away.

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    • I lost my 18 year old brother suddenly and unexpectedly 33 years ago. As difficult as that was for me as a sibling and friend, I watched my parents grapple with his death for years. There is no getting over that. Finding a new normal is difficult at best when losing a child, but necessary for the sake of being able to go on with life. I am sorry for your sister’s loss and the loss your entire family suffered.

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  16. Laurie–I agree. It’s how you choose to respond when bad things happen that matter. My dad had a stroke this summer and we chose to use the hashtag #TeamPositive to communicate news. We chose to focus on the positive and the recovery, despite the sadness that we often felt.

    Great post.

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    • Sorry to hear about your dad’s stroke. My grandma had a massive stroke that left her unable to talk, walk or use her right hand. It was a very difficult 11 years. Yay for your family in choosing #TeamPositive. Attitude can make all the difference.

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  17. Sorry to hear about your news but I am with you on the questions whats the norm in life? I struggle with this as sometimes I get frustrated when things dont go as “planned” but then I sometimes realize its just life; cannot be planned or there is no normal.

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    • I am sorry to hear about your son’s diagnosis. I’m sure it was difficult trying to find a new normal under those circumstances. I’m happy to hear you were able to.

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  18. I never really thought about it that way but it is very true! Life is full of adapting to change and finding your new normal. I recently had my first child and am working on finding my new normal!

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  19. My mother always said when things don’t work out you go to plan B. It’s a similar sentiment that you have to move on and adjust to what life is throwing at you. It s something that has stuck with me throughout my life andi think has helped me in times of hard change.

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  20. Wow…….I can so relate. So far, only the loss of my brother, the birth of my #2 child, and the loss of a home to Hurricane Rita (all in 3 months) were the roughest things in my life. But even the attitude shifts of a preteen, or the frustration in a 3 YO who is STILL not in a speech class…….well….they are normal. and frustrating. I pray the best for your friend. She has a rough few months ahead of her.

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    • Oh my but you have incurred a lot of changes. I am so sorry to hear of this. And yes, children changing is definitely time to find a new normal. I pray your little one will get into a class soon!

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  21. Yep, adapting is the key to living. It’s like the old saying, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. It is all about how you accept and adjust to your new “normal”. I started working more, because my youngest child started full day kindergarten this year. I would still prefer to have her home more and work less and be home more with her, but I am still adjusting to my new “normal”.

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  22. The “new normal” is always what results with change. After my father passed away, I heard Oprah talk about “a new normal” and I thought, when in the world will that set in? Years later, I found that when his birthday came this year, I was out in the backyard playing with the kids laughing, instead of bring sad and glum inside. I guess I’ve finally found it?

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  23. Thanks for sharing! I have been able to find new normals, especially after having a baby in the house! Wouldn’t wanna be without her tho thats for sure! When the hard new normals come I am so thankful to have a never changing God that cares about me so much!

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  24. I think someone said that the only constant was that there will always be change. Some changes we initiate and look forward to like getting married and having children. Some changes are forced upon on us, like deaths in the family and job losses. Some change is easy, some change is hard, but we must adjust to it all. Thanks for the food for thought.

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  25. Wow, I love that photograph. Where is that? Don’t tell me you live near to that? LOL
    Let’s see, my new normal . . . well let’s just say it doesn’t ever get to be normal for me. There’s always something fun to make my life interesting. Getting out of our comfort zones are good for us. Why do things necessarily have to be normal? Great post.

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    • I wish! I think it is located a couple of hours from my home in Kentucky. We were on a day trip. I guess that’s the point, right? There is no such thing as normal. Normal is different for everyone at different times. Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts.

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  26. I think once I realized that all those things you detailed at the beginning of this post were normal, I stopped fighting so hard to find normal. Life is messy and unexpected-we think it should be somehow different than that for some reason.

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  27. This is so very true! Something my husband and I have been discussing since we just found out that we’re expecting baby #3. We know that our lives are going to change and we’ll just adjust to our new lives!

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  28. I think the new normal for us is living on less. So much has gone up except our checks. I go to the Dr and the bill is $600 with insurance…sigh…so my kids know that it is OK not to eat out every night and eat at home.

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    • You are not alone in this aspect at all. I’m not sure how some people are surviving. When I was a kid we rarely ate out. Of course there wasn’t a fast food (or four) place on every corner then either. Eating out was a treat mostly saved for when we were on vacation.

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  29. Yes, my family and I have found the new “normal” lots of times with moving cross-country twice, quitting my job to become a SAHM, and many other things. I find my strength in God and his promises never to leave or forsake me.

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  30. A new normal is what I will be dealing with next year when I retire after 30 years of teaching–math. Sorry you don’t like math, I love it. I need to discover what that new normal is going to be like. I’m working on it before it happens. Thanks for the post. Enjoy your SITS Day.

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    • Did I say I didn’t like math? Truth. I suck at it, except when it comes to money! 30 years of teaching. Yes, a new normal is coming. I think it’s great that you are aware and actively working toward that time. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  31. I love this line: “Life is a series of finding a new normal.” How true that is. I think for me the real key is knowing when to try to get the old normal back and when it’s best to move on to the new. Sometimes we cling to that old normal without even checking to see if the new normal might be better. I’m going to be thinking about this. Nice post.

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  32. We have a baseline which I guess one would call normal. Each week, each day in fact, brings with it a fluctuation in that baseline. Life is all about adaptation. Thanks for sharing! Happy SITS Day!

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  33. Such a great post. What is normal anyway and does it even exist? Change happens whether we like it or not, and we have to adapt. I think my family and I are pretty readily adaptable people…Or, at least, we can try. =0)
    I’m a new bloglovin follower, wishing you a Happy SITS Day!

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  34. Change is inevitable. 🙂 I remember being told, in college, that the order of the universe is chaos. I think that says it all! (You’ve probably figured out I’m one of those who rolls with the punches. No sense fighting tooth and nail.)

    And sometimes, change is a good thing.

    Happy SITS Day!

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  35. I had never thought if that way, but it’s so true. Our lives are constantly evolving, going through transitions, many of which are life-altering (both good and bad), and you have to learn to adjust to life accordingly. (Or not, and thus probably really struggle with holding on to the way things were in the past.) I’m about to have my first child any day now, and I’m about to find a new “normal” way of life which I imagine is going to look very different from the way things have been the past few years, but I suppose the good thing about pregnancy being 9 months long is you have time to (hopefully!) start to adjust before the baby arrives. Lovely post, happy SITS day!

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    • You are right about struggling if we don’t let go. A baby! How sweet and exciting and tiring. Yes indeed, you are about to find a new normal. Enjoy the ride, my friend!

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  36. My favorite quote is “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” Has been very true in my life. Happy SITS Day!

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  37. After my daughter passed away from the results of the toll that diabetes had on her body. And, we use the phrase “a new normal” a lot. It’s been 2 years and we are still developing it. But, it is getting easier to deal with. Well, not easier. But, we are working on getting into a groove.

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  38. HOW DID I MISS THIS ONE?????? Ugh. THIS is the STUFF Laurie!!!! THIS THIS THIS. (Ya know what I mean… 😉 ) I think this post is my favorite article of mine that you have written. XO
    And of course- I can absolutely relate. As we ALL can- a series of new normals. Yes.

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  39. This becomes more true the older I get. Having recently had a rough stretch of illnesses and death in my family, it’s been tough to regain my balance. I’m slowly adjusting to the “new normal”.
    Enjoy your SITS Day.

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    • My SITS Day was awesome! I’m sorry about your loss. New normals do seem to occur more often as we get older, but they started very early for me, losing my little brother when he was only 18.

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