Are you noticing the catch phrase “new normal”? Governors Cuomo (NY) and Christie (NJ) are using “new normal” in the aftermath of destructive tropical storm Sandy. There’s a TV show this season called The New Normal (I haven’t seen it but it appears to be pretty darned cute) and even new normal music (thus far a mystery to me).
Something niggles at me about this phrase — it’s the word “normal”. Merriam-Webster’s definition doesn’t help. M-W tells me that normal is essentially not deviating from the norm, rule or principle; conforming to a type, standard or regular pattern. I am not comforted. The degradation of our environment and the change in our climate is real. “Normal” sounds so comforting. Like: the baby’s temperature is normal; there’s no sign of mental illness, you’re normal; all of your husband’s tests are within normal range. Very comforting. It feels like BIG change is happening at alarming rates, not all of it good. Personally I would love to see a “new normal” of increased tolerance, real equality and world peace. Not too much to hope, pray for and expect. That kind of “new normal” would be extraordinary and so “not normal” as to expand the definition even further.
I am invited to re-evaluate my “new normal” on a daily basis, in essence creating my own definition based on how I fall out of bed on a given morning. OH, this is NORMAL for me, for the world, today. Hum.
Just for today, in this moment, since that’s all I have, my “new normal” is an invitation to accept exactly what is. If I make “what is” wrong, I have absolutely no ability to create a sense of safety for myself in whatever circumstance I find myself in. I can only make change, even if all I can change are my perceptions, thoughts and beliefs, from this place of acceptance. “New normal” works as long as the comparison I make is not to yesterday or what I think tomorrow will bring.