I’ve fallen into the habit of waiting for life to be Normal again.
“After this, it will be normal”. “When my schedule is more normal…”, etc.
We were in the process of moving for about three months, I’ve been traveling on top of traveling, and prior engagements happen to be happening all at once.
I just wanted ordinary.
After moving into the new flat, we flew to Paris right away on our annual obligatory winter holiday away from not-so-sunny Scotland. When we came back, we still had no furniture (it arrived the next day), but for some reason I felt like Normal would happen. Suddenly there wouldn’t be unusual tasks and out-of-the-ordinary days. I wanted ordinary for once! I wanted to fall into a routine and surrender to a schedule.
It didn’t happen of course.
And here’s the thing: normal doesn’t happen.
Normal doesn’t act. I am responsible for making it happen. I must impose normalcy upon life when it feels unusual. It’s like they say it will never feel like ‘the right time’.
There’s always something odd going on, and usually it’s not an exciting odd.
It’s waiting at home for the furniture to arrive. It’s traveling to Paris for a vacation, but having to sort out the logistics of printing tickets and making sure I don’t forget to pack things. No matter how glamourous something seems externally, there’s always stuff. This stuff infringes on daily life. In a not fun way.
I’ve come to accept that there will always be stuff to work around. I could spend energy resisting and resenting that, or I could spend it making normal happen.
How to make Normal Happen
For busy people, normal doesn’t happen on its own. Here are some ways I’ve implemented Normal Life.
- Create an Ideal Week Template. Identify what you want Normal to look like, on a regular basis, to have a sense of what you’re aiming for.
- Schedule the important but seemingly optional stuff first. Fitness is a great example of this. Block it into your calendar, weeks or months in advance. Fit other things around it. Those of us who work from home are the worst at this – technically we’re free all the time. But not. Set these boundaries for yourself.
- Stick to the routines that ground you, even when you’re in a rush or on vacation. Posting on Instagram every morning gives me a burst of productivity. On a day when I’m not doing any other work, this one act helps me feel connected to my projects and community.
- Honour your feeding times. Ensure that there is ample time to eat, and that you know where to find options. Nothing like scrambling to find a suitable lunch in limited time on an empty stomach. Pack, prepare, do your research.
- Take some time to work through a seemingly impossible to do list. If you have a big project going on, whether it’s organising a tea party or moving into a new flat, write down all the little tasks that are piling up, and decide which are most important. Which ones need to get done this week, which ones can be shelved for later. Decide what you can and should do this week, and put the rest on hold.
How do you make Normal happen?