Now that the rush of busy season is mostly behind us, I feel like we’re finally getting back into a more “normal” routine, which is always good and bad. It’s great for us as family, for balance in my home, work, and personal life. It’s good for me to recharge and find that balance again. But it’s always a little hard because it means my income takes a dive for the next few months, which can be challenging.
Granted – the minute we start to find “normal” – everything shifts. Either we have a ton of holiday family get togethers or Marlee’s sleeping or eating habits change, and we’re off to find a new normal again. But I started thinking… isn’t that just life? So often something will happen that will rock our world (in little or big ways) and we’re left to figure out what our new normal is. Maybe it’s a break up or losing a loved one. Maybe you didn’t get into the college program you had been planning on. Or maybe your life just doesn’t look how you had always dreamed and planned.
So what do we do? Obviously these are all very different situations and we might cope in very different ways. For many (if not all) of the situations I previously listed – it’s only natural that you would go through a grieving period. A period of mourning that loved one or that future that you’ve lost. We’re so quick to want to rush people through this part of the journey – but it’s such an important part of the road! I’ve said it a million times – it’s okay to not be okay – it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to grant yourself the space to grieve and heal.
Once we get through this part of the journey (it may be brief or long and both are okay!) that is when we can start figuring out our new normal. What does this life look like now? Before Marlee, that’s what I was trying to do. I was trying to figure out what my normal was going to look like if parenthood didn’t happen for us. What would my life, my future, our future – look like. It didn’t mean I wasn’t still sad and that I didn’t mourn what I felt might never be. But I was beginning to consciously move into the new… not something that is easy to do.
And in the midst of all that uncertainty, in the middle of my shift to finding my new normal – we found ourselves thrown into parenthood literally overnight. One text – and at 4:30 am we were preparing to head to Michigan to hopefully meet and hold our child. Another shift… a new normal… 10 days of living as a family of three in Michigan and we were allowed to finally come home… where again – we began to find what normal was like at home. And then work started back up for me and we had to seek out a new normal again… and on and on.
So I guess my point is… “normal” is never going to be static… it’s elusive. We’re constantly chasing it. The minute we think we’ve found it, something often comes along that shifts it. It might be a child or a job or an opportunity to go back to school or a loss or a gain. It could be any number of things. So since normal is ever-moving and ever-changing… maybe what we need to do is learn to be comfortable in the in-between. In those moments where there is no normal, where we may struggle to find peace.
It’s a weird thing to try and find comfort in the uncomfortable – but can you imagine how much more peace we would have if we could do just that! I know that for me over the past few years my relationship with God has been the greatest source of finding comfort in my hardships. Learning to surrender to Him was simultaneously the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done and continue to do. But moving into the new year I’m going to think about this some more. Because our life has been anything but simple or normal and I don’t imagine it ever will be. So why not? Why not learn to find contentment in the moments of unrest and uncertainty.