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A New Normal

I just want to say I'm done with "new normals". DONE. Another new normal I'm suppose to adjust to. That has been my life for almost 3 years. Changes beyond my control.

The past 3 weeks I've felt out of sorts. I couldn't place my finger on why I was feeling that way though. Everyone is having to live this new life, but I was truly struggling to find my footing. I kept telling myself I was crazy to be worried. We are blessed to both have our jobs, a home, food on the table, technology to work from home and for my daughter to do her school work. I felt guilty for my feelings because there are people who are truly struggling with this new temporary life.

But the feeling lingered. I kept it to myself locked away. I spent endless amount of time scrolling social media and news sources. I wanted to know everything that was happening. I thought the more I knew the better I would feel. It didn't work.

Last night as I was trying to fall asleep I was thinking how I needed to do something to move past these feelings and adjust. And it hit me. The past three years all I've been doing is adjusting. I realized I'm so tired of things happening that are beyond me. I'm lacking the security of all will be okay. I'm on high alert waiting for the other shoe to fall.

July 2017 is when it all changed. My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. The word CANCER is traumatizing for all. And then to hear Stage 4 in front of it was even scarier. My mom was such a BIG part of our lives. She lived about 3 miles away from my home so I visited frequently. She picked up my daughter from school for me. How would things change now? When she began chemo I was scared she would get sick with a compromised immune system so I just wanted to place her in a bubble.

September 2017 I was diagnosed with fibroid tumors and needed a partial hysterectomy. I read up on it and so many women struggled with the decision to have it done. I think I was still so wrapped up in my mom I just made the decision. I was out of work for a few weeks. I don't regret it at all, but it was just another thing I didn't plan on.

The remainder of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 was the ups and downs of chemo drugs not working and a new round to begin. During these months I was angry for awhile, then would stick my head in the sand and act like everything was fine. I went back and forth between these often.

Then radiation began. This is when my mom's health began to deteriorate quickly. I was left with anger then uncontrollable sadness. I would then get angry at myself for being sad because I felt I was losing hope. Because let's face it, I was. When I truly realized I lost hope I was terrified.

The end of Oct 2018 I had to adjust again. This time to a life without my mom. I don't really remember anything for the first 6 or so months after. It's all a blur. I spent so much time trying not to cry. I was trying to keep my daughter's life as "normal" as possible. I moved through life on autopilot.

August 2019 began a new school year with a new administrative team. The team and many teachers I had become friends with left at the end of the previous school year. I was beginning new again. Adjusting to a new principal and admin team. Not having the support of friends on campus who would lend an ear or could cheer you up when needed.

And here we are in March 2020 living another new normal. This is the reason I'm so unsettled. When it finally came to me last night I was relieved. It wasn't just me. I wasn't being selfish. It is just more change. I need to give myself time to cope. I hate the feeling of waiting for the worst.

Here's to hoping and praying my life settles down.

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This newest new normal isn’t... normal. It’s so outside of our collective experience, that I think even when we create safe, comfortable routines inside our homes, our bodies know it’s not quite right. That out-of-sorts feeling keeps hitting at different times for me, too, even though, like you, I feel blessed with a lot of the securities that not everyone is feeling. I guess we keep up our gratitude practices, keep creating stability for our families, and keep offering grace to ourselves as we figure out how to deal with change as it comes. Thanks for putting into words this unsettled-ness.

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