June 24th 2019
Things may change, but life goes on and we all settle into our new normals~
A couple of months ago my friend, Angie, and I had a long chat about overcoming life-changing events. We talked about how uncomfortable it feels to have your normal, everyday life ripped from you and how awkward it can be to settle into a new normal. There are a lot of things that can happen to shake life up, from a new job to a death in the family to a big move, and just about anything that takes the routine you’ve become so accustomed and turns it on its head.
For me, it has been a lot of things that have contributed to my quest to find a new normal. I ended a 3 year long relationship last fall, I left a job of over 3 years a couple of months ago, and I moved away from my home of 24 years to a completely unfamiliar place. I have been ripped away from just about every bit of normality in my life and I have no choice but to figure out a new normal.
The whole process is a bit intimidating, but here is the one most important thing I have learned so far in my journey to normalcy:
Fill your time with things
I know that sounds really silly, but it is so so important that you fill your time. I have spent a lot of days since moving just sitting in bed and feeling sorry for myself and that is definitely not the new normal I want to adopt for myself. That is why, I have really been making a huge effort to fill my time.
I have been going to the gym, working remotely, taking certification courses to improve my resume, talking to job recruiters, hiking on local trails, going shopping, video chatting with friends, and binging old shows that I like, all to avoid spending my time sitting in bed and focusing on the discomfort of huge life transitions.
I also think that getting over the discomfort has a lot to do with reframing your situation. Consider “finding a new normal” to be a fun experimentation process! Allow yourself to try out new things to figure out what you enjoy filling your time with as opposed to just filling your time with whatever feels comfortable. Take this as an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and see what sticks! For me, going to the gym is definitely not something I am used to because I prefer classes to individual gym workouts, but I have found a way to get comfortable and now I find that I enjoy going to the gym and seeing progress in myself.
My personal progress also makes this new normal really rewarding. Being able to grow through a new routine, makes the new routine worth its weight and stress! Also, a new normal can be ever-evolving.
For example, I am working on finding a new job here and that is going to drastically impact my new normal. The location of the job, the hours, and even the pay can have a huge impact on what my normal is. Moving out on my own is going to shift my normal as well. Just about every big life milestone I hit is going to shift my normal. However, that is not an excuse to prevent myself from settling into a good flow now.
If anything, being able to evolve and accept new normals into your life quickly and willingly is a great way to build character. It teaches you to be open and flexible and not mourn your life in the wake of change, but instead, celebrate the opportunity to grow. Not every change is going to make finding your new normal easy, but no matter what, you will be glad that you pushed through and got to a place where you have adjusted and persevered.
For me, change is nowhere near over. If anything, many of the large changes coming to my life have just begun, but I know that with every new situation is a new normal and I am ready to see what my life has to offer me over the course of the next year.