Huh.

It’s been a weird week. Princess Diana’s kid got married and Osama Bin Laden died, and both seemed like anti-climaxes. The happy couple had been dating for eons; weren’t they kind of married already? My first reaction to the Bin Laden news was, “He was still alive?” I hear he used a woman as a human shield. Classy to the end. Also, President Obama made fun of Donald Trump to his face at the Press Dinner; that was new, Democrats fighting back. There are these huge political and social changes going on, and they seem . . . normal. It’s as if we’ve been in the middle of cataclysmic events for four years and now nothing is certain, nothing stays the same, that’s just the way things are, that’s normal, so if Atlantis suddenly rose, all I’d think would be, “So that’s where that was. Huh.”

My theory is that we instinctively seek a new normal. (It’s the only thing I love about Microsoft Word, that little box that pops up now and then that says, “Do you want to keep the new normal?”) If peace and quiet is the normal, we’re shattered when events are violent and change is rapid. If violence and rapid change are normal, we’re uneasy with peace and quiet. Whatever happens, we adapt to the new normal and go on with our everyday lives. Lani has to be picked up at the airport. Lyle needs his subq. Will and Kate got married. If I don’t get a haircut pretty soon, they’re going to start calling me Grizzly Adams. We have ants in the second floor kitchen and mice in the first floor kitchen. Bin Laden got killed. I have to do something about the weeds in the flagstone. I have to do heartworm and flea prevention today, or the ants and the mice will have company. Trump got pwned. Also Argh needs a post because we’re at 176 comments on the last one. It all feels normal. Huge change ends in a big “Huh.”

Of course, that could just be me. How are you all doing with the new normal?

104 thoughts on “Huh.

  1. My new normal still sucks so I’m still hanging out with your mice and ants, but I’m feeling a bit better. I guess my new normal is hanging in the air from one foot caught in a rope trap as I flail about trying to get free or fight the invisible giant spiders that are poking taunting me.

    Does it sound like my new normal is an LSD trip? Nah. This is just what happens in my brain when it is normal and as the shrouds of darkness lift due to time and good drugs (the legal kind), this is how it sounds.

    No, my therapist and psychiatrist aren’t worried. Really. This is just my normal.

    As for the rest of the world … mostly it’s just “yeah yeah, wow, geez, process later”.

    Jenny, hope you win against the uninvited critters. Maybe if you took swapped floor for the animals for a bit, the cats could go for the mice?

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    1. Still picking through the detritus of what was before to figure out what I want in my new normal, but yes, settling in a bit, seeing a way to proceed that doesn’t consist solely of “AAAAHHHH!!!!!!!”

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    2. Your new normal sounds like my normal was for about five years. You just wake up every day and think, “One step at a time,” and do the best you can. Some days back then, the best I could do was getting out of bed. Some days I didn’t manage that. The good thing about times like that is that it establishes a base line. I’d think, “This is the worst day of my life,” and then remember back to then and think, “No, it isn’t.” Nothing but up from here, kid. Hang in there.

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    3. My house got broken into yesterday. They stole the TV and the stereo (and the lawn mower out of the shed). With all the crap that’s been going on both in my life and the world, I didn’t even get mad. So yeah, crazy is the normal here.

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      1. My house got broken into years ago. One of the scariest things, made me feel so vulnerable. My sympathies and I hope you get everything less crazy soon.

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    4. My sympathies and prayers! If it helps, it makes my life sound a lot better. hang in there

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  2. I had a professor in college who spent an entire semester basically lecturing around the question “What is Normal?” I’m still wondering.

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    1. Statistically, normal is where the largest number of data congregate. Not where all congregate. Outliers contribute to the “normal” too, if only because the help determine the edges of the largest number. It’s … Geek Time!

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  3. Well, I have had a great week – watched the wedding snuggling w. one of the kiddos, (who is the same age I was when I sacked out under the blankets and watched Chas. and Di tie the knot – but I’m really happy for them. I hope they get a happily-ever-after. I like them). The kid went on to get first place at a literary conference that day (the top was the critic’s choice, but still!). Went and met a relative’s daughter, named Isis (truly as goddess-like as a three year old can be). Had a last minute visit from my sister to introduce a very important person to us on Sunday. The news last night was a buoyant end to a wonderful few days. I’m ready for a normal of boring. πŸ™‚

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  4. My normal is in a major stage of change right now and I’m doing my best to hang on (helped a ton by the Betties). I’m leaving the job I’ve been in since August 2007 (my first after college) where I wear heels or ballet flats and cute dresses or jeans with vests and blazers, to do Adoption Outreach for a shelter where 99% of the time I’ll be in jeans, sneakers, and a staff t-shirt or polo shirt. I’ll be working out of two locations and taking a huge step up in responsibility and I look like a wide-eyed cat most of the time with fear. I leave this job on Wed and start the new on on Monday. Any tips on making the switch from chaos to new normal? I’d greatly appreciate them.

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    1. Well, now you’ll have to wear your cute stuff for normal life. Wearing jean, sneakers, and tees is a good change; you’ll balance out me as I’ve done the opposite more or less.

      The only way to make an easy switch is to become “comfortable with being uncomfortable” (Sylvia Boorstein, It’s Easier Than You Think). Just enjoy walking on a moving ship’s deck, sit back and enjoy the rollercoaster ride, and all the other stuff. It can be fun. Relax and remember why you are doing this.

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    2. Put your “how to be a good freshman” skills to work. Stay on an even keel, pay attention to your first impressions but allow everyone a second or third impression before you really form a judgement. Pay attention to the goal of the job you have and make sure you’re supporting that. Don’t be afraid to ask your boss for assistance once you’ve made a try to solve something on your own. Figure out what kind of behaviors your boss and colleagues reward or don’t (arrival times, appropriate use of breaks, turnover of projects, how to be heard, meeting behavior, bagel friday, dress, etc…)

      Keep a list of things, written, that you think are odd or need work. Don’t come out swinging with “why don’t we do this a better/my way” (yet). Refer back to your list in 3-6 months to figure out if you still think those things are problems, then try to fix them once you know why things are done that way. (If you don’t write those things down, you’ll forget them once you get used to the way things are done.)

      A new job is always a new opportunity to reinvent your self. Think about what kind of person/employee you want to be and what you need to be that person. Then do that to the best of your ability. Good luck and have fun.

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      1. Love that analogy – I have been surfing the waves since January – I’m getting pretty good at it πŸ™‚ I bought myself a pendant last week made from a scrabble tile that says “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Sound advice.

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  5. I’ve been trying to not meep out loud, but have been very sad and stabby lately. That seems to be my new normal. I suspect all intelligent people have already picked up on this and have been avoiding me which is why I’ve been having to deal with the less intuitive people who are only serving to increase the stabby feelings. This is also why I chose to re-read Bet Me. Needed to laugh.

    Otherwise, I’d say you are dead on.

    You will also post pictures of whatever you decide to do with the pole, right? It would make a good posting on argh.

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    1. I will first post the naked pole so you can see it in all of its ugly glory. The whatever I end up doing with it.
      “Sad and stabby” is a good phrase. Go ahead and meep.

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  6. My normal has been alternating a low-level hum of panic with moments of absolute relaxation and comfort. I need to figure out how to mitigate the panic because it’s making my fillings vibrate loose. (Just kidding. I don’t have any fillings.)

    I’m reeling today still, trying to wrap my mind around everything from yesterday, trying to fully grasp what implications that one death might have. I think I’m gonna need to break out the hard stuff for this one. Faking It or Agnes and the Hitman, I think. After my last final tonight, which I still need to study some more for. Argh.

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    1. After your last final you still have to study? For what?

      Ping me; I’ll chat. And I think I need to read Agnes again, too. Good idea.

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    2. I concur with the need for the ‘big guns’. I have also dragged out Agnes and the Hitman to re-read. πŸ™‚

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      1. I need to buy it. I used to get it from my old library, but the one near me now doesn’t have Jack S##t. So I need to buy Agnes cuz that’s my 2nd fave Crusie.

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    3. You know, immediately after the 9/11 attacks, I dug out all of my favorite romantic suspense/adventure novels that had Navy SEALS, Army Rangers, Delta Force and other military heroes and re-read them one after another. Not only have good books always helped me in dark times, but I badly needed immersion in stories populated by these warriors.

      After that, out came the Crusies, the SEPs, all the books that make me laugh and smile. Again, I needed the reminder that even amid the darkest times, light exists.

      Today I’m mid-way through re-reading one of my favorite Suz Brockmann books – Prince Joe. Fast Women is coming up next.

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      1. A lot of the hot romances I’ve read in the past several years have had special ops kinds of heros, lots of current or previous servicemen, etc. Obviously affected by the state of the country’s consciousness.

        Mary Stella: I love Suz Brockman. She has lots of special ops guys in one series of her books, too. I’ve never heard of Prince Joe: I need to read it.

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  7. “New normal”: exactly. Our little island is at a standstill because we’re surrounded by military base (including SEALs teams) and they’re processing one car at a time for entrance on base. The world shifted, stand by for a new shift soon.

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  8. I don’t focus on normal. To me, it’s a setting on the washing machine and nothing else. The world and my life and place in it are what they are. The only constant is change. I’m up for that. I subscribe to the believe that we give God a good laugh when we try to plan our lives.

    I’m glad that Bin Laden is dead but I’m not in a state of demonstrative celebration. Sometime, somewhere, al-Qaeda will strike again — hopefully never with the success of the 9/11 attacks. A co-worker/friend of mine was in her early teens when her father died in the World Trade Center. Her wish today is that he and the other victims can finally rest in peace. That’s one of my wishes today. The other is that someday, somehow, the world will live in peace.

    I was watching my Phillies play the Mets on the Sunday night game on ESPN when they announcers said, “The news has just come in that Osama Bin Laden has been killed. Please turn to ABC News for the story.”

    They displayed no serious, urgent demeanor. The delivery was sort of casual, as if they’d just added the information to their play-by-play. “That pitch caught the outside corner for strike two. We’ve just learned ABC has the breaking news that Osama Bin Laden is dead. Please turn to ABC News for all the information. Oh, strike three! Side retired.”

    In retrospect, it must have been surreal to them and they were somewhat stunned. Members of the crowd received the news via text messages and emails and soon a section broke out with the chant of USA! USA!. They kept returning to the crowd and you could see people working their smartphones. Gradually, the USA chant loudened as more people joined in. At that point, I don’t that the players were aware why.

    The two events are linked pretty strongly in my mind. I have a gut instinct that the president help back the forces until today so that the news wouldn’t interfere with the Royal Wedding. That was such a high profile, high joy-causing event with billions of people anticipating watching on Friday. The world needs joy before crashing us down into the stress, worry and fearfulness over terrorism.

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    1. I just remembered my favorite dig against Trump by Seth Myers. Something along the lines of, “Donald Trump announced he would run as a Republican. Really? I assumed you were running as a joke.” Love that!

      For anyone who is a fan of Trump, I’d like to explain that my antipathy for the man has less to do with his political anti-Obama stance than it does with what the guy did to so many hard-working people and families and generations-owned small businesses in my home town of Atlantic City. When he was building casinos, specifically the Taj Mahal, he made a big deal out of hiring local contracting firms. Then he went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy (or whichever one lets you reorganize your debt). He came out of that with millions of his own money still intact but the local people he owed for their hard, honest work and materials got, if they were lucky, pennies on the dollar. He’s still rich and they went out of business.

      He also tried numerous times to pressure the city to declare eminent domain over peoples’ homes not for the overwhelming greater good of the city at large, but so he could tear down the houses for a limousine parking lot.

      Whenever he remodeled a casino, he’d lay off everyone and then make them reapply for their jobs. No job security.

      I know to some this is all “business as usual”, but it’s really hard to take when the people hurt are relatives or people I grew up with.

      Okay, that’s it for my anti-Trump rant.

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      1. *hugs* to Mary Stella. I knew something along those lines had happened and it makes me want to scream when they talk about Trump coming back from bankruptcy as though it was the same for him as for an average, non-rich person without tons of lawyers. Most people go totally broke and lose all their money when bankrupt. Not the rich.

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  9. Have you ever heard the saying “Life is what happens while we are busy making other plans?” (something like that). I am guilty of always telling myself I’ll do ‘something’ when my life gets back to normal, but really, life never gets back to normal. It just is what it is (very profound, I know).
    I think life is always full of change – it’s just that the past gets this sort of rosy glow and we forget how unsettling it was at the time.
    I love rearranging furniture – it makes everything feel new and exciting. I have decided to (try to) view my life as an extra large furniture arrangement – a new normal every day.

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  10. My new normal is wet. And it comes with loud noises, sudden flashes of light and trips to the ‘safe place’ wherever one might be at the time. Frankly, I’m sick of it. I’m ready for a new, new normal that involves some sunshine.
    I’m getting cranky. Maybe I should reread Agnes, too.

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  11. Huh. My new normal is quiet today. I got to stay home from work because the water stopped running last night after a couple of weeks of pulsing through the pipes in an unsettling manner. Figured it was going out any minute. And it did.

    But we woke up this morning and the water was running again. Soooo, I stayed home anyway and had the system looked at. It was a fifteen minute fix, and although it made my boss unhappy that I stayed home, I got a day of peace after weeks of high stress and preparation. So maybe the new normal will be quieter than the old normal. Lani made me promise to stop volunteering for things. Smart girl, that Lani.

    I’m not much affected by the political news. How many years has this guy been on the loose and now we get him? I don’t know it seems anti-climactic somehow. And like others I find it hard to celebrate a death even if the guy was an major evil asshat.

    But that’s just me.

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  12. You hit it right on Jennifer! I am chronologically gifted and I’ve been through a lot of new “normals” One of the biggest ones (beside cell phones) was becoming a mother. The transition from responsible to self to responsible for small human is enormous. Another one was becoming single after 22 years. That’s normal now, but it took a long time to come to grips with it. I love this current new normal. I’m unemployed and get a lot of writing and reading done. I even sold a book. Now I want the next new normal where I have a tv series.

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  13. My new normal appears to be on my back wishing it would stop spasming. Not really enjoying it. Although I can read and by re-reading Crazy for You realized why my dog is named Kady. Well, I named her Katie, DD changed the spelling.

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  14. I had been wondering how the distraction of the press was going to be used. Getting Osama without press leaking bits of the story? Choose a weekend when they’re otherwise occupied, 8 years to the day of the “Mission Accomplished” banner fiasco. That’ll do.

    I had kind of the same “huh” reaction, frankly. I’m not sure what to feel about it all. Kate and Will managed to look regal in front of the world, as they desperately needed to do. Obama kept his poker face to the end. “We’ve got other things to do” indeed.

    If I hadn’t slept for half the weekend, I would have tried the almond cookies. Maybe this week. Although I do have a ton of oatmeal I need to use up.

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    1. I still have to double check that recipe. The first batch was good.
      Probably should come up with an icing recipe, too. And finish this book.

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  15. Dysfuncational is my normal.

    I have NEVER been “normal” so normal for me is going back and forth between feeling good about not being normal and feeling bad about not being normal. You know your basic bipolar seesaw. Humour har! Love Anges.

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  16. My new normal is going KITCHEN-LESS!! The guys are coming in two days to start ripping everything out. I’m busily packing all my crud away. I can’t believe how much stuff has accumulated in my little kitchen! Where do I store all this stuff for the next 6 weeks? And how do I cook without a kitchen? Argh, indeed.

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    1. A new kitchen = exciting! When I redid mine a few years ago I bought a dorm size fridge and put it in the spare bedroom with a microwave and a coffee maker. That way I knew I could cover breakfast plus weekend lunch and, in a pinch, could nuke leftovers or a Lean Cuisine for some dinners. During the remodel, I ate a lot of Quiznos for dinner.

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    2. Hey Kathy! Microwave, toaster oven and plug-in kettle for boiling water. LOTS of paper plates, etc. – you can go green another day. And if you want to borrow the kettle, you can. There were a few peanut butter sandwich and glass of water days during our renovation, but mostly we managed. If you go into total cooking withdrawal, come on over and cook for us. Just don’t mind the current ant invasion. Karen

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      1. Kelly, Mary, and Karen – thanks for the helpful suggestions! Only thing I don’t have is a plug in kettle for boiling water. Kind of hoping the neighbors take pity on us and invite us for dinners. πŸ˜‰

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    3. Move the microwave and the refridgerator into the living room. In a week, you’ll wonder why you ever had them anywhere else.

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    4. Ooh yeah, hot pot. I lived out of one of those for 4 years w/a mini fridge at college. You’ll be fine.

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  17. This is actually about your previous post, but there were so many comments I wasn’t sure you would see it. You could wrap the pole in a thin layer of insulation & then go over that with ribbons of different sizes & colors. Like a Maypole. Not ideal but thought you might be able to use it.

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  18. My first thought was the mice in your house with two cats and five dogs (which four of them used to be bred to get critters out of the ground) Are not normal and must have a death wish.

    About your pole-I didn’t read the comments so if I repeat the idea sorry-But get some concrete forms (8′ of hard thick carboard) put them around the pole-stuff them with insulation, than on the outside to a faux painting to make it look like a marble column (you are crafty the paint job will be easy-they have kits even at Home Depot) you can put crown molding around the top to finish it off. And if poosible you could move it two to four feet to closer to the wall so it isn’t in the middle-add another one on the other side to keep the support and make two columns and make it look like you are walking into a roman palace!!

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  19. New normal? Old normal? Hanging on to normal? I’m not sure what any of it means. My 80s somthing parents survived the tornados in Alabama with house intact but no power. Being tough they decided to camp until the power came back on. And Mom just finished chemo. My youngest son went with his Dad to the Cape to see the next to last shuttle launch…which scrubbed. And he got sick. But a friend of my husband gave him a great model kit and that saved the trip. Got to love model builders. Finest kind of folks. My oldest son who is disabled spent the time giving me heart failure when I thought he was having seizures and camping my lap the rest of the time. I think he missed his brother. And amazingly he is too big now for me to carry around and still do chores. Since I was up with the oldest, I watched the wedding. Good for William….she looks like a keeper. I hope it works out. And when I got a minute to play my online game (cough…addiction), I found out that Osama bin Laden was killed through the game chat. Huh! I don’t want to celebrate someone’s death but can only hope the loss of a figurehead and his money will curtain terrorist activities. But the bright side includes fresh catnip from the health food store for the fuzzballs, a great bead sale subsidized by a gift card for Secretary’s Day and bargain fabric super cheap which will become donation quilts for the Alabama Red Cross. Maybe not normal but surely not boring either. Maybe there will be Moroccan Chicken for dinner tonight and I can start sewing. And I think it was John Lennon who said “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.”

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    1. Oh, and I think you need to make the column look like a tree. Cardboard, brown paper, art markers and heavy gauge wire should help do the trick.

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      1. You can crochet leaves to hang from the ceiling around it! And maybe a squirrel (named Walter) to hang out on it somewhere. πŸ™‚

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          1. Is there a bat pattern available? I would love to crochet bats and hang them from the ceiling in my office. It might keep out the riff raff.

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  20. I agree that normal has some pretty wide parameters. I’ve found so far this year that it feels like about each month is holding about a years worth of stuff. As I noticed this first at the end of January, yeah new normal is if nothing else eventful.

    I’m not sure how well I’m doing with this much change though. I’m trying to reframe it…sort of remind myself what my core values are and do a bit of a compare and contrast along the way. It’s just hard to catch my breath sometimes and it’s eroding my self confidence a little. Probably the changes that are bothering me the most at the moment are the ones I’ve set in motion as part of a long range plan. I keep finding new expectations of what people are likely to require of me.

    Admittedly I also tell myself that how I’m feeling is ‘normal’, that adapting to change is not necessarily a smooth process. That faced with constant change, I’ll also find myself a bit shaken till things settle. I think that’s why I’m not feeling quite so vital at the moment with some underlying crankiness…I’ve had very little chance to process a lot of change that is happening in my own life. Set this against some huge local and global change…yeah unsettled is becoming the new normal.

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  21. If by our new normal you mean a series of upheavals, I’m agreeing. I’m blaming the screaming heads. They’ve spent the last few years screaming illogical warnings of unfounded dangers and now we’ve all become pretty much anesthetized.

    All of which is why, except for the morning weather report, I don’t watch broadcast news anymore. And for the weather report I go with the happy morning people who never get worked up about anything.

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  22. Change is normal but if I ran the zoo, some of the changes would be good ones. Couldn’t we please have some good? Huh? Pretty please?

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  23. My life is incredibly sedate compared to everyone else: twice a week I get my Mom out of her nursing facility (stroke: paralyzed on the right side, no ability to speak, read or write left but amazingly responsive and active) and we go to Easter Seals and do pool therapy, on Sunday we go for a 2 mile walk usually through the park. My husband is retired so I spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking 3 meals a day, which I did not do when he worked at an office. Since he is currently working about 60 hours a week consulting, we don’t do too much together. I get the occasional hour here and there in my studio chiseling away at a piece of stone and am out messing in my garden almost daily. But next year it will be different.

    The only thing not normal was his nasal surgery (multiple things needed to be done so he could continue breathing through his nose) and he has specialized in not doing this well. The first trip to emergency (known as the Knife and Gun Club) was a quick fix and other than there being more cops there than at the local Starbucks (there was a gang shooting a little earlier) it was not unusual. The second was for a nose bleed that had gone on for 2 hours with copious quantities of blood. They stopped if fairly fast but then he passed out from a vagous nervous system reaction which they brought to a stop instantly. Let me tell you those ER guys are good. From the first “Code White Room 1” call until they had it shirt cut off, the ekg attached, an x ray in the room, oxygen mask on, his position adjusted to bring blood back to his brain and the paddles on standby if they needed them and vein catheters installed was 2 minutes total. Those guys do it all, accident victims, burn victims, trama, knife wounds, gun shots, heart attacks, strokes and, of course, nose bleeds. So that was it. Every thing is back to normal.

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  24. Normal? What is that?

    Depending on the size of the pole and the size of the room around it, you can cover it with insulation/fabric and leave it alone, if this looks good to you. If not, and you have some space around it, turn it into a display of a collection (“I meant to do that”) . For example, wrap it in batting then fabric, poke it with T pins and hang small/lightweight objets d’arts. My natural (or is that normal?) inclination would be to build a round bookshelf around it and organize books, photos, and dust catchers that would otherwise be homeless.

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  25. My normal is to lurch from crisis to crisis. Most of my crises are small, as I am single and my family is in good health- they’re just about work or moving or something.

    People who actually foresee potential problems and take steps to avoid them must be much angrier about sudden events than I am: they did what they should and took care of business in a timely fashion. They must feel so betrayed by reality!

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    1. I just hold on to the false hope that after X date, things will be better.

      Right now I’m in “just hold on til the end of school” mode. 4 more weeks!

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  26. My new normal is accepting that most likely, I will be unemployed one way or the other by the end of the year. If I don’t get canned when the budget gets passed/the cuts come and instead get the job I have an interview this week, it’ll be with a pay cut/demotion and going to contract rather than career. The new normal is choosing to take a double demotion because I have nothing to do at my current job, and if they HAVE to hire for the one I’m up for when they didn’t want to hire someone for it due to the impending budget cuts, it’s still gotta be more permanent on a 3-year-contract than my “career” job is. Oh, irony. Living in fear is the new normal, to the point where I have actually managed to get bored and jaded about it in the last couple of months.

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    1. I hear you. I found years ago that contract was more stable than “permanent” a lot of the time. That’s kind of why I’m halfway trying to find contract and freelance rather than a “normal” job.

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    2. And this is why we need the Betty co-op, so we can find each other work, work on projects together, and create interesting and profitable work together.

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        1. That’s the wonder of the Interwebz: subcontracting and telecommuting. We have email. We have Skype. Some folks have facetime. We have phone conferencing.

          We could have a place for it on the web. We’d all share the kinds of work we can do (because sometimes you just need something) and the kind we prefer to do. Share CVs/resumes. Share work-finding tips. Then, we all know someone, who knows someone. Help each other figure out how to find different kinds of contracts, and look into the pool and see who could also help.

          Too many things to say here. Will share later.

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  27. I began an experiment today. Given that I struggle with copious amounts of anxiety and PTSD (hypervigilance and all that), I end up kind of freezing or else wasting time so that it just passes (you have no idea how many pages of LOL cats I’ve viewed!).

    Today I began a Mindfulness/Awareness experiment. It will take practice and all that, but the idea is to pay attention to exactly what I am doing right now, such as typing, without also thinking about what is on TV in a little while, having an internal dialogue with someone else, worrying about my joblessness, etc. At the same time as I’m focussing on specific actions, I’m endeavoring to be aware of my surroundings. I managed this for most of 25 minutes on the way to an appointment this afternoon. I kept pulling myself back from various contemplations to enjoy the trees and to keep from rear-ending the jerky driver in front of me; I paid attention to the physicality of driving, doing all the correct stuff like looking into the mirrors regularly and all that. For those moments when I achieved both goals, I was not anxious at all. So that’s how I’m going to handle change and forget the whole word Normal. Mindful Awareness. Can’t hurt.

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    1. Note to self: spending an hour with Betties (and crossover Arghers) creating a Betty group and then — so unusual! — breaking FaceBook, is not conducive to a serene mindset. It is more conducive to OCD. But it is a lot more fun!

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  28. When I was working and a glitch reared, it was a problem. Not working, the glitch is what happens in life and gets handled.

    Skye, go big with the Mindfulness/Awareness — works! May reset your brain.

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    1. Any brain-resetting will be welcome. I want to not only become functional again but cut out one med and cut way down on the other (which I’ll probably need forever). I admit doing it while I drove was quite calming. I can use all the calming I can get.

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  29. I don’t think normal has ever been peaceful. History shows that people have always found a way to mess up a good thing. You go along for years happy as clams and then someone decides you have what they want and BAM there’s a war. And I think those occasional respites of peace lull us into the belief that we can achieve lasting peace. The older I get, the less I believe that is possible.

    I think the world vision is just a larger reflection of the personal experience. I don’t think anyone experiences lasting equilibrium. We all experience ups and downs. Some people are just fortunate enough that their downs aren’t catastrophic and the ups are frequent enough to give that needed respite. Maybe success is in the ability to embrace the constant change and readjust attitudes and life approaches as needed.

    I’m somewhat of a control freak, so I really have to work at dealing with things beyond my control that directly affect my life. If I can’t change them, I’ve got to control my response to them. That’s my life challenge.

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  30. I read through half of the comments will check rest later.

    Following on from Skye’s response – the normal distribution when shown on a graph is called a bell curve, because it looks like a bell. High where the most numbers fall and thinner on the outlying sides. So if normal just links to “most” then I ain’t normal.

    Personally though, I prefer homeostasis over normal. That is managing to maintain an even keel even after being battered around.

    And didn’t I read somewhere that they were closer to finding Atlantis?

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  31. A bit random, but I fully expect to need to re-read “Crazy For You” after watching tonight’s Fleetwood Mac-laden episode of “Glee”.

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  32. And going back to Mary Stella at May 2nd at 2.52, Trump’s also got stupid hair.

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  33. I live in southern Ohio, in the middle of Brush Creek forest, on a tree farm with a bunch of dogs and my *unusual* family, so normal isn’t even in my vocabulary. Oh, wait! There’s this incredible guy who has a spot off Route 73 where he sells homemade chicken coops and outdoor toilets. His business name? Knot Normal. Ahhhh, the joys of adjusting.

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  34. I think the always-resetting “normal” is different for people on the older end of the bell curve than it is for folks on the younger end, because you’ve got more to contrast it with.

    Like, I’ve only been reading J. Crusie novels for a couple of years now, but when Martha Raddatz was describing what she’d heard from Pentagon types about the Osama Bin Laden confrontation, and she explained how they shot him first in the chest, then a second time in the forehead as what the Seals would call a “Double Tap,” my reaction was: “Well, of course. What else would they do?”

    And it’s all Bob Mayer’s fault. πŸ™‚

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  35. I am at a base here in Iraq that is closing down. We were kicked out of our trailers this week and moved into tents so they can ship them out. I was evicted from a trailer park. It is a new low. On the bright side, while I thought living with 9 other people in a small space would completely suck, and it does, we do have oreos and blueberry coffee, so it isn’t all bad. We have the double stuff two sided ones, where one side is chocolate and the other side is a golden oreo. It is manna from the gods. It’s the little things that make life bearable.

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  36. I think I should make reading the ArghInk blog a normal thing for me, because it always helps put the everyday craziness of my own life into perspective when I read about everyone else’s ups and downs. It also helps me remember to have a sense of humor when one of the kids shakes up the soymilk without holding the top and we have a chocolate soy deluge all over the kitchen (and the kid). I guess that’s also why I am so addicted to reading Crusie books–the humorous perspective is priceless.

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  37. Re:my earlier comment about being unsettled by what is currently normal in my sphere. I realised I was feeling a bit more out of unsettled than might be appropriate when I started sedating myself with blocks of chocolate. I know a lot of people can use chocolate responsibly, purely for entertainment purposes….for me however there is very little middle ground if anxious. Mainlining chocolate is mostly a great indicator that things are out of whack, and I need to retune my life into a more balanced model. I’m finding it a bit harder than normal (hah) to surf the bumps of my own life when it all seems fairly minor compared to people who have lost loved ones and homes to natural disasters. I saw my Doctor the other day because well I was feeling the need to mainline chocolate…Apparently on this test the nurse gives regarding stress I am just the number before the chart stops measuring. I wonder how I can be this stressed when no one in my life is under threat…well not more than normal.

    I know an appreciation of the absurd is helping me somewhat. The other night my daughter (22) came to my bedside to wake me going ‘Mum, Mum there is a noise. Can you go see what it is please.’ As I rolled over I was nose to nose with her border collie. Not a great way to wake up at 3 am. It turned out it was a possum stuck up on the curtain rod in the living room. Much muttering as the possum was discouraged from its perch and out the door. I find it funny that she had to walk past the living room to get to me, but was too unnerved to investigate.

    Maybe recognition is part of the solution, as it’s been 5 days now since I’ve consumed/scarfed down chocolate.

    I seek a new normal with better stress coping strategies. Beyond gratefulness.

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    1. Ah, the old possum in the living room on the curtain rod trick, eh?

      It’s very funny to me that the dog came up to get you as well. They are a smart breed, though, if it had had thumbs, it might have been able to deal with the critter on its own.

      Hope the stress in your life diminishes soon!

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  38. I think it’s always been “one damn thing after another” — but it does seem to be that there are more damn things per week than there have been before. I do believe that a lot of it stems back to the fact that we are running out of oil and energy, and I think we’re waiting for that other shoe to drop.

    I’m really bummed out because a Facebook friend has a bunch of America-bashers posting. They expect the US to “lead the way to peace, not war” and “someone has to stand up to the US” — such utter BS, because I think the average American doesn’t want the US to be a world leader. More and more, I think America is trying to crawl back into an isolationist shell. For example, it seems like we’re getting ready to exploit our own oil (and wreck our own environment?). And there’s all the anti-immigrationists. And “why the hell are we giving to money to other countries?” people.

    When we can trust each other and work together, we get so much more done! But a few bad apples spoil the barrel for everyone.

    I think we’ve been very lucky to see a golden age. I have a terrible feeling that it’s about to all collapse in on itself, unless we can find alternative energy sources, and then a better way of distributing the wealth/work rations. New normal is going to suck.

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  39. I spent all of last week trying to avoid my new ‘normal’. My beloved dog died 4/25. My home is empty. And you know that saying about not making rash decisions while mourning? I didn’t get that memo. I took vacation from work and just disappeared; left my home and memories; left the country. Thought I would heal better by the beach. But that didn’t work out so well. You can’t avoid reality. When I got home last night I discovered I’m not ready to put those big girl panties on and move forward. Must return to work tomorrow and travel and meet people and put on ‘the face’. Not sure how that’s going to work out. Hope no one mentions my dog or they may get a reaction they didn’t bargain for. Being a grownup really sucks sometimes. I wonder how long it takes for the new normal to become normal?

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  40. My new normal this year is camping out in the home of a HS friend with my two children while I wait to see what happens next in Egypt (husband is still in Cairo – one of us has to have a job) I am pretty much at my limit for absorbing new shocking events. “Huh” pretty much sums it up.

    I also just read Maybe This Time which I enjoyed tremendously – and coincidentally my friend’s house is 100+ years old, three stories, and located in southern Ohio. Haven’t seen any ghosts yet, though there are plenty of stair cases and railings to be pushed down / over…

    Next week I’m taking the children to a school carnival being held at a local family-owned amusement park. If I see any fortune teller machines, the evening may be cut short!

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