One of the funniest moments on a recent Zoom was when a friend stopped the meeting right in the middle of it and said, “Can we just pause for a minute and ask why Tony is wearing a tie.” I work with someone who gets up everyday and puts on a dress shirt, a tie, and his badge. Even though he is working remotely.
It helps him maintain some sense of normalcy in a time that feels anything but normal.
But is there really such a thing as normal?
I want to start by saying that it is okay to not be okay right now. People are sick. People are dying. People are losing their jobs. People are staying home and feeling isolated or going to work and feeling scared.
Of course we are not okay.
But it’s also worth noting that it is always okay to not be okay. We don’t need a global pandemic for permission to feel sad or scared or angry or depressed or anxious.
Usually we are okay. Sometimes we aren’t. That’s normal.
This is not a “new normal” as some have called it. This is just what is happening to us right now. I think we have a unique opportunity to teach this to our children. Every day is different. Some are easy. Some are hard. Years ebb and flow, and obstacles arise that throw us completely off course.
We face challenges, and we overcome them.
If resiliency is one of the things our children learn through this, they will be better for it. This is likely not the first, and definitely not the last challenge they will face. Hopefully they will not be on a global scale again, but no one’s life is free of obstacles.
It’s healthy for our children to see us struggle. It’s normal. It’s also healthy for them to see us persevere. It’s normal. It’s also okay for them to see us reach out for help. That is most definitely normal.
So wear a tie. Or don’t. Curl up on the couch and watch Netflix or go for a walk or eat a giant tub of ice cream. Or don’t. Find what feels normal today.
There was a before and there will be an after. That’s always the case. Today is today. Take it for what it is.