I Want/Don't Want to Get Back to Normal

As the United States wearies of life during a pandemic, I'm seeing lots of comments like:

I'm also seeing comments that seemingly express the opposite.

So it got me wondering. Just what is normal?  

According to Merriam-Webster it means

Conforming to a regular pattern

Conforming means to be similar or identical. I don't remember any us living the same pattern before the pandemic.  And as far as I can tell, no one is now.  

I'd argue we weren't normal before the pandemic and we certainly aren't normal now.  

Whether a person says,

"I want things back to normal."  or  "I don't want things back to normal."  

I think both statements mean, 

"I don't want things to be abnormal anymore."

If you look up the word abnormal it means 

Unusual in an unwelcome or problematic way 

To me, that is the real issue.  It's not that we want to be normal (all conforming to the same way of life) it's that we want unwelcome or problematic disruptions to go away.  

For some, those arrived when the pandemic came.  

For others, they left when the pandemic came.

As we learn how to navigate these new waters of lifting restrictions during the pandemic, we might be wise to ask ourselves:
  • "What problems have I experienced since the pandemic?"
  • "What problems went away because of the pandemic?"
  • "What are some unwelcome routines or habits I am now living with daily?"
  • "What are some unwelcome routines or habits that I don't want to go back to?"  
When we look at it in terms of abnormal instead of normal, I think we'll realize the answer isn't so black and white.  It's not a debate, it's figuring out what we want our life to be like from now on.

So if you can't decide whether you want your life to get back to normal or not.  Don't worry.

That's normal.