I was writing my other blog this morning (I write it first because it comes easy to me and so it is the perfect warm up for a writer), and something occurred to me.
First, my other blog is a daily affirmation (I kind of hate that description, sounds so new ageish) called “Today I Love” and in it I write about finding ways to appreciate what I have even on the bad days.
Anyway, in it I started exploring the idea that the current normal, which we are all hoping won’t last, has some rather potent advantages over the past normal, which we are all hoping to return to.
And I’m no different, I feel the longing to return to what we had.
What we had was a world full of controversy and distress. The fact that we were all used to it, and possibly even comfortable with it speaks poorly of our standards.
The fact that women are systemically paid less than men is wrong. The fact that white men who commit crimes are described by the media as people who snapped while people of color are considered obviously bad when the majority of crimes involving murder are committed by white males is an uncomfortable truth for me as a white male journalist.
So why do we want normal back?
It’s not an easy thing to sit with, is it. But the reality goes beyond our comfort levels.
When things were normal, we were slowly becoming aware of the things that were wrong. In truth it was way too slowly, but we all thought we were moving forward.
It was like there was a plan and some perceived progress and things were getting better in some ways.
Now everything has stopped. The current normal is unfamiliar and uncomfortable.
We can’t meet with friends and family if we want to be responsible. We can’t shop or play or worship the way we were used to doing. Things are new and different and weird.
March of 2020 was an ugly situation with people being ill and dying, and they still are. Medical facilities were struggling and still are. First responders are now getting ill and that’s on the lack of personal protective equipment required to handle a situation like this.
March 2020 was also the first March in years without a school shooting in the United States. Front line employees are suddenly very visible and we are suddenly very reliant on them, because we suddenly realize how important that job they do is.
Maybe there are parts to this current normal that we might want to figure out how to keep?
And here in my home, things that have been missing, time spent with my family, the chance to read and discuss things, the opportunity to cook together and eat together, all these things are suddenly available to me and they are reminding me that all the things I used to do in the past normal were, supposedly, so that I could have more opportunity to do these things I am doing now.
Ah, yes, you’re wondering why I’m writing about this in a blog about ADHD. Fair point.
The reason is this, here in the current normal I have been reminded that those of us with ADHD are people, like those without ADHD. And I’m reminded that we are all in this together.
The things that affect the neuro-typical human being also affect us. Differently? Yes. But we are still in this together and have no other option but to remain together as we work toward a more stable reality.
And the current normal and the past normal?
They will both have to give way eventually to a future normal where people with ADHD and people without ADHD have to live and work together.
And maybe, just maybe, while we’re trying to build the newest normal yet to come, we could figure out how to do that so that there is some harmony in it for each and every one of us.