The New Normal?

It is just after 10am on a Wednesday morning. It’s weird because it feels like a day like any other. I’ve sorted the washing, been to the local supermarket, had breakfast and the boys are busy, at least for now, with school. My wife is at a meeting and I’m having a quick coffee and a first sit down since getting up around six.

But it’s not really like many other days, the washing consisted mainly of night and leisurewear, the supermarket had gaps in the shelves and lots of strange markings on the floor, the boys are doing school work in their room on iPads, and my wife is on a Zoom call.

It’s all very different from just a few weeks ago and yet as I walked through the house to make sure everyone is ok it felt strangely familiar… uncannily normal. We have all, very slowly, but also surely, adapted to our new situation; the new reality in which we find ourselves. It has got nothing to do with liking it, but it feels… today at least… like a certain level of acceptance has fallen on the house.

This morning was the first weekday morning when we have had breakfast together, perhaps reflecting an acceptance of when getting up time should be and when we all need to be ready to start our respective days. It is later than I original thought we should do, but why go through the stress and mental anguish of trying for half an hour earlier? We seem to have reached a compromise, an unsaid balance.

I think that this acceptance helps us to settle better into our new situation, and also our new roles. The boys are expected to do more around the house and be schooled at home, my wife and I need help with that school work, and we all have more of a responsibility to each other… we spend more time with each other and so have to try to be more patient with each other’s foibles…. we still all bicker and get frustrated on a daily basis but I’m sure that we’ve all become a bit more tolerant of each other too.

It has taken its time and has by no means been plain sailing but it is good to find something of a rhythm to life after what has been quite a jolt. Moreover, while I really value my solitude, and definitely have a misanthropic streak, I am very grateful to have had people to go through this with. They may have annoyed the hell out of me on occasion, but they have also kept me grounded… and not just the people at home but also friends on social media who have made me laugh, shared their thoughts and provided inspiration for things to do and music to listen to.

Thank you all!

Right I’m off to see how my two classrooms are going…

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