The new normal

The beginning of school is a great time for me. I like order. I like structure. I like knowing where I have to be and when I have to be there and trying (best as I can) to get where I need to be on time (or just a few minutes early.) The school year, for my kids and I, is the beginning of "normal": how our lives run each day with school and work and after-school activities and homework and weekends. It's all how it should be.... until it's not... until something comes along that changes things up.

And really, life is always like that, especially after divorce. We are thrilled for a new job but we have to get used to new routines at the office. We find a new love and jump for joy but then we have to figure out times to meet and places to go. Our ex finds a new person and we have to find a way to bring them into the fold- however that fits- into the lives we have made post-divorce. Navigating a divorce is difficult - discussions and arguments about activities and money and where we will live and how we will live- all twists in the road that lay before us. But these twists and turns that we experience don't mean that we're heading in the wrong direction; they don't mean we're going back to bad habits, they don't mean we're regretting decisions, they don't mean that divorce wasn't right for where we are and where we were, they just mean that we are going to have to get used a new normal and it's ok for that to take some time.

Just as during the school year we allow ourselves some leeway the first few weeks, we should do the same for our post-divorce lives. We should understand that jumping into something new with someone new is exhilarating, but once reality sets in, things will settle down and you will settle in and things will adjust because that's just how life is. And maybe the best we can do is to give ourselves a break, to give ourselves those extra few minutes in the morning to get ready to go, to give ourselves a few extra minutes to fall asleep at night, maybe we should give ourselves a break and realize we don't have to have all the answers right now- we can work on it tonight and tomorrow. We can understand that life will move on and we along with it, if we just give it some time, don't force the issue, don't rush to judgement and don't throw our hands up in frustration. Give yourself the freedom to not know all the answers and not know how it looks in the end. Give life a chance to catch up with you and where you are now and look ahead to where you're going and where it is you want to be.

Sometimes looking ahead gives us the strength to keep moving today. Sometimes looking at where we want to be takes our minds off of where we are now. When we think about what we want our life to look like, we give ourselves permission to dream all that we can dream. We lighten our hearts and the load off our back, and we forget for just a minute how difficult things may seem in the present. And sometimes it's just that relief that allows today to flow so much easier. When we no longer feel stuck and out of control and allow our minds to think about the future, the present becomes lighter and so does our heart. We think about what we want to be and we think about where we want to go and sooner than we know it we have created a new reality- a new present filed with light and hope, a new future shining brightly ahead. And it's the thought of that future that creates a new normal in our present day.  And before we know it, all that we feared and all that we anticipated becomes normal, our new normal. A new normal life that we create by accepting the present, looking at the future, and walking there one step at a time.

After all, this is the life.


  1. Why aren't you on the motivational speaker's circuit? So many people need to hear these things.

  2. Thanks, Linda!! I feel the same way about your blog!!


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