Dreaming of a New Normal

Once in everyone’s life there is apt to be a period when she is fully awake, instead of half asleep.

E.B. White

I’m sure this has happened to you lately…you’re talking with friends, perhaps you’re on a Zoom call, or FaceTiming, maybe you run into someone you know on a walk on your street or in the grocery store (if you can recognize them, gloved and masked, and in dingy sweats and a ball cap.)

During the conversation, no matter how brief, someone refers to “when things get back to normal.”

You do know that’s not gonna happen, right? I say. That version of “normal” doesn’t exist anymore.

But look, that doesn’t have to freak you out. Really. Instead, it is an amazing opportunity we are faced with.

Don’t be that person, standing in a building that is several thousand square feet and full of food, lamenting the fact that “your” Honey Nut Cheerios are out of stock and therefore you are starved for nutrition.

I mean, I’m not here to minimize your grief. Not at all. I have wept for what we have lost. I struggle with undesired change of such sudden severity.

But I am here to tell you to open your eyes. You are surrounded by unlimited possibility – by so many options – possibly better, healthier, and more delicious options!

Now Is the Time to Dream, Not Sleep

It is time to think outside the box, to imagine the large white canvas of a future that is yours to contribute to. We each have a small, fine paint brush in our hands, and if we are brave enough, we can add our bit of color and texture to the creation.

Self-portrait as the Allegory of Painting (La Pittura)
Artemisia Gentileschi1638-1639

Spend some of this solitary time to dream – if you could create something better – not just for the Earth (’cause Momma Nature is clearly pissed!) but also for the rest of us humans, for our community, your family, and you what would you do?

Think about it, never before in our consciousness have we – an entire planet – shared such an experience regardless of country, class, creed, sexual persuasion or anything else you can think of that has previously divided us.

This is an unprecedented time, but please, don’t be lulled back into a system, a way of being that is so clearly flawed. Don’t simply accept what is presented to you because you are so desperate for something that seems like the perfect gift – a return to things the way they were.

Don’t sleep on this opportunity – this chance to reinvent, to create something new, something better.

Maybe we can create a way of life that honors those who do the work we may not have given much thought to in the past like farmers, grocery workers, healthcare professionals – the teachers who spend more time with your children than anyone other than you.

People’s eyes are open in a way they never have been before. Perhaps this strange time will help us understand what many, many others around the world go through and what they have lived in that we have had the luxury to ignore – war, famine, disease, constant financial and social instability.

Perhaps we will become more compassionate. More generous. Kinder.

So here we are – in a world oddly united in a way we never expected. The possibilities before us are limitless, the world is ripe for profound change – if we are brave enough – and strong enough – to make it happen.

Those who are creative, flexible, fearless, resourceful (honestly, most women, who are we kidding?) will be the ones who survive, thrive and lead us into what’s next.

What do you want to see on the other side of this? Who do you want to be? What kind of world do you want to live in?

Those are the kinds of questions we should be asking ourselves.

This is your chance for systemic, cellular reinvention and I beg you not to waste it.

be well. be brave.
stay well. stay brave.

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