A Better Normal
Jordan logged in as I logged out.
Up next for my son, a unit exam on writing. Up next for dad, a sofa.
My son comes to understand that stories of conflict and climax come to a resolution. As he musters his morning energy to multiple choose his way to literacy, I get lost in a bit of lunacy.
I lay back and wander through a labyrinth. At every turn of my mental journey, I hear it. In fact, today, like the past 43 days and counting, I cannot escape it. The new normal. Day in and day out, that phrase: New normal. Night in and night out that fear, that angst, that uncertainty.
New: appearing for the first time, having lately been brought into being
Normal: serving to establish a standard
The new normal will be a novel standard. And apparently, we will bring it into being. Yes, we. The 7.8 billion individuals living on one orb. And one individual, me, constructing a new normal one day in quarantine at a time.
As Jordan triumphantly clicks his way to a passing grade in class, I wonder what a passing grade is in life. Beyond the walls of imposed isolation, what is failure? What is average? And what, just what, might be exceptional as we journey forth?
We are so lucky. My family, I mean. Just south of Barcelona, we have the time, the resources, and the love to ponder post-pandemic aspirations. There is food on our table, a roof above us, and a bedtime story told to coddled children in cozy pink pillows.
It is that good fortune that affords me a couch upon which I contemplate and a laptop upon which I scribe. And suddenly, as Shae divides his decimals, Tali draws her daisies, and Alina draws ire from her mother, I find my hope buried in Jordan’s quiz answer: D. The resolution.
Why must this trying tale’s resolution be desolation? Why must I accept despair as normal? Why must I assume that new means dismal. It does not; I looked it up.
New can be transformative, uplifting and inspirational. It can release an energy I have never known and the world has yet to embrace. The new must be “brought into being.” We, as a noble race, can bring it into being. I, as a humble soul, can bring it into being.
And thus, my musings tickled me into optimism.
What if we emerge to establish a better normal?
Emerge: to rise, as from an inferior or unfortunate state or condition.
Establish: to build
Better: of superior quality, more virtuous
Normal: a standard
Is it possible that the new normal will be a phenomenal normal?
As I prepare lunch for the little ones, I now know two things. A story has a resolution. We write that resolution. Perhaps we must rise from this unfortunate condition to build a more virtuous life. Seen as such, this new standard is intriguing. It is empowering.
Jordan moved on to the next question as I remained committed to the last. I do not care so much about his passing a quiz online as much as us passing the next examination of humankind. He will be fine in class, and maybe for the first day in 43 days and counting, I believe we can craft a more noble resolution. Here in my home. Here in Catalonia. Here in Spain, and here on the one planet we share.
As Jordan logged out, I logged in to fashion a better normal.