A new normal

When someone goes through a major life change, people line up to give advice. What you should do. What you could do. What they did.

And although the past 6 months since my mothers passing have been difficult, I’ve been grateful for those words of wisdom from people who have gone through the parental grieving process. It’s made me feel more normal, and in a world full of chaos, normal is the only emotion that I seek these days.

More than one person has actually told me that when people go through these traumatic experiences, death, divorce, miscarriage, job loss, and the like, they yearn for their lives to return to what they know as the “old normal”. It’s hard to envision life moving forward with this missing piece, but somehow you learn to create a new normal. You never forget the loss, but you learn how to develop a new way of living without it. You find new loves, create new experiences, build new memories. You learn to continue on.

I think this can be said with other aspects of life, not just loss. I think we have to constantly create “new normals” to be able to better ourselves, reach goals, find happiness and achieve successes. If we do what we’ve always done, we’ll get what we’ve always gotten, right? If I choose to replay my mother’s dying moments in my head day in and day out, then that’s the only memory I’ll retain of her. If I decide to not work out one week, then I won’t maintain my progress. It’s a simple cause and effect.

I used to think this “new normal” was something very far out of reach. I felt like I would always be stuck in April 2012. But looking back on the past 6 months, I have created new normals, and they’ve enriched my life. They haven’t replaced my mother, but they’ve helped me cope and begin to heal. I am constantly defining new normals. They make me who I am.

Here are some of my new normals.

  • I talk to my mother. Although she can’t respond to me anymore, I still talk to her like I would if she was.
  • I camp with Mr. KKM. Camping was something I did with my mother. Now, it’s our time.
  • I work out consistently. It’s my therapy and time to decompress from the day.
  • I have found self expression through my blog, and make it a goal to write daily.
  • I’m creating new holiday traditions for the upcoming season, my favorite time of the year.
  • I’ve surrounded myself with positive people, friends, bloggers, family and future family who lift me up.
  • I’ve become an advocate for breast cancer and keeping my mother’s memory alive through running events and fundraising.

Have you experienced a difficult moment in your life? How did you create new normals?

10 thoughts on “A new normal

  1. I do not have words to express how much I appreciate this post. I have many new normals and just when I thought those were normal, my life took another drastic turn and then, more recently another! There is no normal anymore. I am learning each day is what I make of it. Through it all, I strive to remember Mom in everything that I do. Thank you for writing this!

    • So true. Sometimes I feel like normal is a state of mind and we need to be deciding what our normals are going to be. I’m so glad that I have connected with people like you who share these feelings and emotions with me. I appreciate you more than you know! You make me feel “normal”. 🙂

  2. Thankyou Stephanie, this was so beautiful . Just one day at a time .. And you keep talking to mom she is always going to be there with you ..

  3. This is beautiful, Steph. I couldn’t think of a better way to put it – a new normal is perfect. And so true. I love that you are making new traditions with Mr. KKM, that is wonderful! I’m touched that my post prompted you to share these thoughts.

  4. I have been very blessed that my difficult moments are not that difficult. I guess you can say having a new normal is being adaptable. You are a very strong person to realize that sometimes when you are forced to change, you just have to go with it. I know your story is very personal. Thanks for letting me share in your journey to the new normal. 🙂

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