A New Normal

Blog Post No. 527

6b93386e-73d6-4743-aa49-afdc9f5fcefb_textI’m sure everyone has heard or read about how extensively people can acclimate to just about anything. There are people out there living with pain, stress, or other burdens that (while I’m sure it beats them down) they have just gotten used to all the things they do to mitigate their situation and move forward. Sometimes there’s no other choice and sometimes it seems easier to just put up with things the way they are than go through whatever it may take to change them. That’s an extreme example, but I’m sure we’ve all had a temporary burden hardship like a broken down car or uninvited guest and we’ve just learned to live with the new normal.

Sometimes the new normal isn’t tragic. It could be as simple as starting a new job. It could even be a positive thing like finding a new favourite restaurant or meeting new friends. The point is that in a universe governed by entropy (and our biological drive to expend as little energy as possible). Water finds the lowest point and people build routines and systems to make their daily lives as smooth as possible. For the most part at least. There’s an exception to most rules.

giphyI’ve stated it here so very many times before. I’m a creature of habit who (for better or worse) creates elaborate routines in order to get myself to do the bare minimum in a given day. The start of a new year is as good a time as any to reflect on the little things I’ve done (mostly unconsciously) in order to mitigate the upheaval of change. The most obvious is the new routes I’ve been taking to get to the day job. As is typical of a city, every major road running from my house to work is under construction. Thankfully, I found a route that bypasses most of the traffic, but it does bring me (and many other drivers) through an otherwise quiet neighbourhood. I’m sure the people living there don’t appreciate it.

Sticking with the day job, since coming back from the lock-down in 2020 and 2021, and since we have a new supervisor, a lot has changed including my schedule. I’m working more (which is good for the wallet) but I’m also working more days in a week which is a drag. If I have to go to work, I prefer to get a full shift in and potentially get a day off rather than work short shifts every day. I’m still working at the other centre one day a week which is again, good for the money, but it brings with it all kinds of stress that has led to me coming up with a multitude of partial solutions. It’s almost as if the new normals multiply or extend into fractals.

giphy-1With the pandemic still looming, I’ve gotten into new routines when I get home, too. I clean certain items I carry every day like my keys, and I let other things, like my swipe card for work, hang on my pants which go on a hanger in the laundry room in a futile attempt to keep the house uncontaminated. I wash all my groceries too, but now I don’t know how I ever went without doing that. Seeing people pick their nose or worse, then handle the merchandise, or just cough all over an entire aisle should make anyone squirm.

I’m desperate for routine when it comes to writing and I’ve been struggling a bit to find something new with the changes at the day job and without easily meeting my friends in the evenings. I was doing well when I was at home over the lock-downs (it’s own new normal) but with the inconsistent work schedule I’m finding I have to force myself to start writing (or editing). I have a new story to get to as soon as I finish editing something for a friend (and in between the beta reads for the Invasion Novel). I’m going to stick with my plan usual to write every day until the first draft is done, but I haven’t done a first draft in a while since I didn’t write a new Novella last year.

I’m a little nervous about doing a new first draft while I’m still working out a new routine, but writing it will probably help me solidify a few things in the end. Besides, something is always going to change, often at the last minute to better gum up the works. I’ll adapt as I always have, the same way millions of people do every day. After all, new normals only ever last so long.

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