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The "New Normal"

April has come with the gradual opening of flowers and trees budding and nature turning green again. The weather has warmed and there is a delightful fragrance in the air. I have noticed this transition on my daily walks through my neighborhood. It’s unusual for me to be walking so much…. I don’t get out and notice nature and the changing of the seasons as much as I used to. We are living in a “new normal”…with the isolation of people in their homes, as our state of Idaho Governor has put forth a “stay a home” order to help slow down or “flatten the curve” of this pandemic known at “Covid 19” (the corona virus).

My usual exercise routine involved the “elliptical” machine at the YMCA, as well as weight lifting classes; but since the closure of the Y on the 13th of March, I have had to adjust my schedule, my exercise routine, my daily life, and my job of teaching classes at that YMCA. It has been quite a change…. Quite an adjustment for me, who readily admits her obsession with a regular schedule. My day always began at 4:30am with a meditation practice, observing the Ayurveda principle of drinking hot lemon water first thing and taking time to “warm up” for my day ahead. I ate breakfast and drank ½ of my water allotment for the day, as well as a cup of coffee in these early hours of the day. I would meticulously run through the classes I would be teaching in a couple of hours to be sure I could remember and include what I thought was important…. What I had already planned for, and posted in a schedule on my web site. I would spend time on a treadmill or elliptical before teaching classes, and perhaps meet with others afterwards or run errands on the way home at noon time. My life was very orderly. On opposite days of the week, I spent even more time “working out” by lifting weights, or spending at least an hour “sweating” on the elliptical machine. My life really did revolve around the YMCA.

Now, the new normal for me is sleeping in until 6am, languishing and perhaps walking outside when the temperature warmed up…enjoying a much larger breakfast and lunch with my husband, and meticulously fixing more elaborate dinners. The personal exercise as fallen by the way side, except for “practicing” what I teach in a “Live, Zoom” class only 1 day a week. My actually stress level has decreased. Unfortunately, my waistline has increased in the last 6 weeks. (Perhaps it’s more snacking and watching my favorite “Planet Earth II” on the BBC television station.) Whatever it is, I’m sure – I will overcome and prevail eventually. For now, I am enjoying these leisurely walks in nature, spending more time with my husband (not sure he thinks that this is a great idea…..LOL), petting my cats and buying them more treats. I am now beginning to spend more time in my garden, in between baking lovely treats again and watching and learning from videos and live presentations from other yoga instructors, Physical Therapists explaining injury prevention and upbeat words of wisdom from other women and friends.

It has truly been eye opening for me. I have literally watched nature blossom in front of me instead of racing through my day, trying to keep up with life and work. I do miss seeing my children in person and my only grandson, but life will resume, no doubt. I and millions will return to life in the fast lane…but, not unchanged; I don’t believe. We have been touched by the response of human beings actually being helpful and kind to one another. We have seen people in desperate situations and have been moved to help them. Maybe it’s because we have more time… more space to think, to act, or “react”…to adjust to this “new normal.” I wonder… will things really go back to the way they were? I’m kind of hoping that some things, some of those good things… will remain. I want to reconnect with my friends and really appreciate who and all they are. I want to continue to pay attention to the food I am preparing. I want to plan activities and programs and classes that really ARE beneficial to my students/colleagues, & friends – and not just because it’s my job. I enjoy seeing the clear blue skies and a cleaner environment as we make our way back to the hiking trails and recreational destinations. I have actually accomplished several projects that had been on the ‘back burner” for several years. There is a big “sigh” that comes from feeling productive and less stressed.

We have; however, picked up some new vocabulary, like: “social distancing”, and “flattening the curve”; as well as “Zoom meetings”, and “FaceBook Live”. Technology has never been my friend, but I am learning to cope… to live with this new normal. I’m not quite as happy with some of these new acquaintances in my life; but I would certainly welcome getting back to some “old acquaintances” like my hair dresser, my manicurist, and my massage therapist. How about you!

Be grateful, be happy you are alive and well. Enjoy nature to its fullest. Heed the wise words of some, and let go of those that spew negativity. I’m looking forward to hugging so many people this summer, and getting back to "normal?"


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