In the last month we have said goodbye to the family home, transitioned from living very rural to very urban, and have opened our arms for our oldest to fly solo in kindergarten.
I’ve questioned myself every time I have begun to feel overwhelmed, because I look at life, and life is good. But then I hear my children, again (atypically) erupting into screams from the other room and then I remember this is a lot of change.
So much change. For all of us.
Our every day in the last month has been spent absorbing change. Our every day has been spent finding our new normal.
Our everyday processes, down to acquiring food for our household, are different.
Our middle child has finally accepted that we walk on the sidewalks in the city, not the road. Our youngest has learned we need to go inside to use the bathroom because using a city backyard isn’t necessarily appropriate. Our oldest is learning to ask before she wanders out the front door. We are learning to not fill up our car with gas every 2 or 3 times we drive it.
Everything is new.
So how do we find normal?
I’m convinced that there is no such thing.
Humans are so crazy adaptable. We can live in igloos, yurts, shacks, mansions, bungalows; with or without proper beds; city or country; hot climate or cold; in good health or not. My family could live in any one of those situations and learn to be happy. Learn to find normal.
Just as your beliefs directly and wholly sway your actions, your priorities directly and wholly sway the rhythm of your normal.
Our normal is directly stacked upon our priorities. Then whatever kind of building material we are given, we can build our normal rhythm. Legos, milk jugs, mud, snow, Magformers. We can build our structure of normal.
Our set priorities as a couple are family togetherness, a healthy marriage, close community, and knowing Jesus.
Whatever external situation we find ourselves in, we can build a normal that revolves around those four things. We can find our rhythm that sings our priorities again, even if it takes a while to figure out the new instruments.
Just because it doesn’t take a full day to travel to town to get groceries anymore, doesn’t mean we stop buying more than our family needs so we have extra to share with impromptu guests.
Just because we have more places than the post office to walk doesn’t mean we don’t continue talking to everyone we come across like old friends.
Just because activities are so accessible now doesn’t mean we do them all.
Just because it’s easy to stay stimulated in the city doesn’t mean we don’t intentionally find quiet to center our souls.
And as we create our new house in the city, we keep the same priority of it being warm and welcoming and homey to everyone who walks in. Even if we haven’t had a chance to make a ‘good impression’ yet.
Normal is a myth. But a life with meaningful rhythm is attainable fact.
Set your priorities. Find your rhythm.
Because life is good and can be fulfilling, no matter what kind of instruments you find yourself holding.
A happy rhythm will be just as exhilarating to dance to in a shack or a castle.