After COVID-19, Let’s Create a New, Improved ‘Normal’

I’ve probably enjoyed staying home a little too much over the past 35 or 40 days. I have my trusty laptop, food, books, and more work than I know what to do with, so I’m set for another two months at least. Yes, I miss seeing my barber, going out to eat, to the movies and library, wandering around aimlessly at the mall— “normal” stuff this pandemic prevented.

So far I haven’t suffered any fever—real or cabin—and though I have Zoomed until I literally fell out, I love my commute of 50 steps and no traffic, my casual business attire—t-shirt and cutoffs, and  trips to the bank drive-thru and the pharmacy. My tank of gas is the same one I had last month.

This new mindset took adjustment but now that I have a new “normal,” I like it. I’ve decided not to go back to the “bad ole days,” and I pray you, too, will discover a new improved dailiness.

First, I forgot how much I enjoy cooking. I have cooked almost every day and making our meals has allowed me to cut down on salt, grease, expired food, and save a ton of money. Lunch is my favorite meal but when you’re away from home, you spend more than you realize eating out. Now I make extra, so we have leftovers. I’ve been creative—if it’s not in the cupboard, I grab a cookbook and try something new.

I’ve advocated for family meals at the table the past 40 years and in our busy, complicated lives, I feel like a lone voice crying in the wilderness. My favorite scenes on the CBS drama, Blue Bloods, come when they all show up Sunday for the family meal. More commercials are showing families how to streamline their routines to have meals together—I pray this trend will catch on in the “new normal” so families can spend less electronics/gadget time and more time talking, sharing, teaching, and listening.

I pray we will not take on all the busyness we had before COVID-19 slowed things to a crawl. When our two children were small, we spent many a night at the ballfield, at dance class, music lessons, and the like. We were all exhausted so I finally said we could do a million things one night a week but we would/could not do a million things every night. Wednesdays and Sundays used to be exclusively reserved for church and religious activities but now games and rehearsals are scheduled every day and night, all weekend, and again, everyone is exhausted.

I’m old-fashioned—I still write checks and drop them at the Post Office mailbox. I intend to single handedly keep the Post Office in business, if possible.  Seriously, it’s easy to live beyond your means and I pray our new normal will offer a commitment and opportunity to give, save, and spend—in that order–so we’re not at the mercy of an unsettled economy that eats your retirement funds.

My friends, we can do better and these past few weeks have shown us we can. Last week I found a plaque with a Gandhi quote while I was cleaning out closets and the garage. It said, “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” I’m hanging it near the garage door to remind us to be still, kinder, more thankful, to make better choices, laugh more, learn something new, plan more strategically, declutter, and make every day a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Here’s a salute to the new “Normal.”

What are your plans on a new normal post pandemic? I would be happy to hear from you at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook!

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. All the way from Stanton, TN (you can’t get there from here) to 50 states, six continents and everything in between, she’s wise, witty and altogether wonderful. She enthusiastically invites you to slow down, sit a spell, and share a giggle or two.

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