The New Abnormal

It’s been over a week since I’ve written a blog post. Writing is one of those things that normally brings me peace, that relaxes me, and that helps me reflect. Unfortunately, the last week of my life brought so many changes and so many unknowns, nothing has felt quite right. Since last week, we have closed schools and I’ve worked from home for 5 days [so far]. Even though I am a proud introvert, who enjoys spending time alone, I am not enjoying establishing new work-at-home routines.

In one of my many conference calls this week, I referred to this time as the “new normal”. Someone else said they would rather we call it the “new abnormal” because so little about this is normal, and we will get back to what our normal was again at some point.

I love my work colleagues and it’s so weird to have to schedule Zoom calls to get anything done.  I feel like I spent about 7 hours a day on Zoom calls this last week, while I watched my inbox and my to-do list grow. Somehow, it feels like I have more work than I would if we were back to normal. And I do, right now. We are rearranging everything about a school system, while collaborating virtually with thousands of stakeholders.  None of this is easy.

At the same time, I am more grateful for my work than ever before. Not only am I glad work where I work (the district that employs me, not the location of my home office at the kitchen table!) with these people, and an amazing leader during this difficult time, but I am also grateful to still be able to work remotely.  So many people are without work, losing jobs and businesses, as we struggle to figure out what a socially distant life looks like for a while.

Today I went to the grocery store. It was surreal. I had to wait in a line outside because the store would only allow 25 people in the store at a time. Many customers were wearing masks. All the workers were wearing gloves. Some of the aisles had completely bare shelves. I was happy to be able to buy some fresh fruits and vegetables. My freezer and pantry have been stocked and ready to keep me fed for a while, but I’m grateful to still have access to fresh produce. I’m also grateful that my store is taking all of these precautions to keep their workers safe as they continue to provide us with food when they can.

As I remind myself that this will pass, I want to capture some big and small moments of gratitude for myself. I’d love to hear what you are grateful for right now. I’m grateful for:

  • a job I can do remotely, with caring colleagues
  • family who are safe and healthy
  • the ability to take walks outside in the fresh air
  • an income that allows me to support local businesses and my favorite service providers during this time
  • calls with friends and families
  • FaceTime dance parties with my nephews
  • Netflix and Bravo and Hallmark to binge-watch when my mind needs a mental break
  • my cats loving me being around so much
  • clean laundry
  • an extra clean house
  • living in the same neighborhood as my brother, so we can meet up for socially distant walks together
  • spring flowers
  • the bouquet of sunflowers I bought myself to brighten up my new home office area
  • essential oils diffusing around my house
  • my health
  • rainbows

What are you grateful for at this time?

About Amy's Reflections

Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in Southern CA, taking time to reflect on leadership and learning
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1 Response to The New Abnormal

  1. Pingback: March 2020 Reading Update | Reflections on Leadership and Learning

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