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How to make the most of your “new normal”

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Let’s commit to being better people when this is all over.

Are you waiting for life to get back to normal? Hoping and praying you can have a social life again soon? Or, more importantly, that you can work again? Me too. In the meantime, the life we’re living now, quarantined or sheltered in place or just different, is our life. This is the new normal for the foerseeable future, and this weird socially distanced part of our life is just as important as our life was before the virus. It’s so easy to get caught up in wishing things were different. But let’s switch focuses and use this time wisely. 

One of my favorite examples of this is from a book called He Leadeth Me. The author Walter Cizek, an incredible man, had a plan to teach people about Jesus in Russia. It was his life dream. And instead, he was put into solitary confinement and then a hard labor camp during World War II. He realized that he had to live the life given to him rather than pine after the dream of his life that he had wanted. And once he made that switch in thinking, it made every day meaningful — and even fruitful.  

So in our version of solitary confinement, how can we take advantage of our new normal? For many of us, it will mean a slower pace of life, and one centered completely at home. 

You may have more free time in the evenings and mornings.

You may have more silence. 

You may have more quality time with your kids.

You may have less time in the car.

You may have fewer commitments.   

It’s tempting to fill your time with noise and distractions to help make up for the fact that you can’t see people. Resist that temptation! Read less news and fewer blogs online. Watch movies and listen to books and music that challenge you! Don’t just rewatch a television show that you’ve seen before — try something new that requires more of your attention. Avoid spending massive amounts of your free moments on social media. Instead, use these strange times to invest in relationships — have real conversations with people you live with or with people far away, using your phone and internet. Write some meaningful letters to people you love or people you seldom talk to but who have changed your life in some way.

What prayer time can you add to your life now that felt impossible before? Try praying the Angelus, or check out the Liturgy of the Hours. Read the story of the saint of the day. Pray the Rosary and try watching virtual daily Mass.

Invest your hours and attention in people. Invest in prayer. Invest in restoring order to your life. Why not take this period to make your life different, and maybe better, than it was in your previous non-corona life? 

Usually our days are so fragmented and full. And with the internet, we have every possibility of living that same reality right now. But, these unique circumstances give us an unprecedented opportunity to step back. We can create a daily schedule without having to fit in commutes and our normal extracurricular activities. We have more unscheduled time. How will we use it? Many good things that we used to do every week are now on hold, so let’s fill our lives with good things to take their place. Let’s leave this period of time better people than we were before. 

 

 

 

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