My Hope for The New Normal

normal

The new normal for most of us consists of a lot of stress and unknowns.  We are lonely without our usual interaction, stressed about having our children ALL. DAY. EVERY. DAY. and many of us are trying to provide them with some learning.  Trips to the grocery store are even more stressful. We are concerned about the health of our parents and children. Everyone is consumed with financial worries in these uncertain times.

My hope, however, is that when this has passed, we will make sure some of our new normal remains.

Children and Family

In our house, we have already had multiple movie and popcorn nights, walks and bike rides, played family sports, read books, snuggled and ate every meal as a family.  While these were all things we did together when we had time, these are now happening daily.

I hope we continue to reconnect to our families and look back at this time with some fondness as we have gotten some precious time with our little ones and partners.  In this time I’ve seen my oldest get better at shooting the basketball, my middle son is adding, subtracting and reading beyond his years and my little girl is talking and creating up a storm.

Right now, I am privileged to be witness to all of this. The days are even more challenging than before, but when I see the three of them reading together, or watching a movie all snuggled up, I’m realizing what an unexpected gift we have received.  We are jumping in puddles and not worrying about ruining school shoes or having to change clothes. We are cooking together and making the kids more responsible for daily chores. We aren’t rushed to move out the door or to get into bed. The days may seem long, but they provide time for grace and flexibility.

May we spend more time checking on our elders when this passes, realizing how lonely they are and that they need help sometimes.  Let us not forget them when this is over.

May we continue to show interest in our children’s learning. I’ve seen so many ask what their child is doing so that they can help them continue.  Let’s take the time to ask our kids, support our teachers, and pay attention to those emails and what comes home so that we show our children we value their education in the days beyond this virus.

Appreciation

May we all continue to appreciate those professions who got us through this time.  Our teachers who are still working to connect with our children, or putting out resources, some even teaching online while home with their own families.  They are the ones with our children most of the day and now people realize what an important role they have in all of our lives.

Our first responders and medical professionals who are always on the front lines and in dangerous and stressful situations, exposing themselves to multiple germs and scenarios on a good day and doing it all willingly because it is their chosen duty.  Our farmers, truck drivers, and grocery workers. Those keeping the supply chain going and working to do it all with efficiency and a smile, taking more time from their own families. This is only a small list. Take notice of those who make sacrifices and work the hard jobs daily so we can live a better life.

May we appreciate our health and the health of our family and never take that for granted.  May we appreciate that, despite our crisis, many of us still have access to food and we live in a country that is trying to help ease our burdens and provide resources to help us get through this trying time.

Love thy neighbor

May we continue to be less selfish and more giving.

My biggest hope is that when this has passed, we continue to see people extending a helping hand.  In these trying times, society is more aware of the needs of others. We are offering time to help the most vulnerable and delivering to seniors, donating to food banks, writing letters to those who can’t receive visitors.  We are taking our children to pick up trash around the neighborhood and taking the time to call family members. We are helping others find what they need in the grocery store, shopping for the elderly and leaving the last milk.  Facebook is allowing us to connect with someone that needs diapers, wipes or formula. We are beginning to return to the meaning of community.

Finally, it is my hope that we all remember to continue to tend to our faith.  Faith in God, or another higher being, faith in the universe and something bigger than all of us.  That we take the time to be thankful, pray for our family, friends, and world and give thanks for these daily blessings that we wouldn’t normally have.  I pray we all remember what is important when this crisis is over. That we make our family our priority and continue to help those around us and foster our sense of community.  I pray we continue to slow down, put down the cell phones and turn off work for a while, so we can appreciate all that we have and may have previously taken for granted.

May God bless you and your family and keep you healthy, patient, and grateful.

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This piece originally appeared at Stressed, Blessed, and Savings Obsessed, published with permission.

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Stephanie Kevan
Stephanie is a busy mom of three working towards a frugal and meaningful life… and sharing stories and tips along the way!