Contemplating the New Norm

Sheila and Tango at work

Sheila and Tango at work.

by Sheila Hyland, Luminari Operations Manager

Tango is five pounds of furry white fluff who lately won’t stop staring at me. Perhaps he’s afraid I’ll return to my previous life from a few weeks ago spent in constant motion and frequent trips out of the house. Those days I complained, “if life could just slow down! If I could just have a moment to myself.” Aesop’s fable “be careful what you wish for, lest it come true” has most definitely come true.

I now run multiple marathons, attend mind-blowing concerts and travel to faraway places—in my mind. Covid-19 put the skids on all immediate plans for work, travel, school and leisure activities outside the home. I now struggle to wake before 10 a.m. I struggle to get dressed before noon (if I get dressed at all!)  I now have the time I so desperately desired and yet find myself paralyzed for hours at a time just sitting…watching Netflix…staring at my phone…staring out the window. Can you relate?!

Occasionally a burst of energy strikes, and I accomplish clearing out a drawer or a closet. Other times are spent clearing out negative thoughts from my mind and contemplating life. What do I still want to accomplish in the time I have left on this earth? What can I do to help others, many of whom are struggling just to find and afford the most basic of necessities? How can I communicate better with the husband and child I’ve been isolating with for seven weeks nonstop? These represent significant questions that the pandemic forced me to confront.

I realize we’ve all been given a rare and unprecedented opportunity to dial back the hectic pace of our lives, to remove the blinders and see the world for the magnificent and mysterious place that it is. Each of us faces a unique set of hurdles and challenges to cope with this new normal. There is a sense of comfort knowing that, while we stand apart, we are collectively going through this together.

Right now, I focus on staying positive and thankful for each day even if staying indoors isn’t how I envisioned spending my time. I know one little doe-eyed chihuahua who’s thankful for the gift of time and eager to cuddle up with his mom knowing that for right now she’s not going anywhere…