So, What Exactly is Normal Anyway?

Inspiration, Motivational, Tough Love!

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Have you ever been guilty of mumbling one of the following statements – either loudly or under your breath? Alexa

  • Why can’t my life be normal?
  • Why can’t so and so act normal?!
  • I can’t wait for life to get back to normal…

I’m afraid I’ve been guilty of the “I can’t wait for life to get back to normal…” one.  In fact, pretty recently!  One of our beloved cats, Alexa (pictured here), recently broke one of her legs in two places.  A normally VERY active cat has had to be confined to total bed rest (we got her a dog kennel/large cage).  Because she’s accustomed to being by my side all the time, I spend a lot of time lying in the floor by her.

Last night, as I sat by her, petting her head and feeling helpless to help my little girl heal any faster – I thought, “I can’t wait for life to be normal again.”  I caught myself almost immediately and wondered, “And just WHAT would that be?”

I mean, just because something in our life is currently stressful doesn’t mean life is all of a sudden abnormal.  Truth be told, isn’t something at least a little to the right or left of our “normal” always taking place?

Granted, some “lefts” or “rights” are more extreme than others.  Some feel like our “normal” has been given a sound beating and left for dead.  This summer, I battled an extreme case of poison oak for four months.  I had it on my face, my arms, legs, stomach, and back. I was covered with pink calamine lotion head to toe.  Misery!  To compound the suffering, I have major allergies and asthma and each responded badly to the poison oak.

One night I woke up scratching myself so hard that I started bleeding.  When I went to the bathroom to smear back up with calamine lotion, I sat on the side of the tub and just laughed. I guess sometimes you have to. It’s that or cry.

So, there I sat smearing a mixture of Calamine and Triple antibiotic ointment onto sores and laughing in spite of myself.

I’ve found that, when life seems to have it in for you, the pain and anxiety will be far less if you handle them with as much grace and humor as you can muster.  It’s like getting a shot. If you tense up, the pain will be at least 3 times worse than it’ll be if you just relax and let IT happen.  After all, IT is going to happen whether you’re tense or not – you might as well make it easier on yourself.

The same is true with life, IT is going to happen whether you’re smiling and making the best of it or frowning and pitching a hissy fit – you might as well make it easier on yourself AND save yourself from looking like an idiot.

Sometimes, the “right” or “left” isn’t like a complete beat down – in fact it feels more like your normal just has a headache.  Annoying inconveniences can seem overwhelming but if we simply “put them in their place” and realize that everything’s going to be okay in time, it’ll make the headache a lot easier to bear.  Truth be told, time is the aspirin and the only solution to a lot of problems.

Chasing Normal

Money troubles, relationship problems, ill (or broken!) pets, dead-end jobs, lay-offs, etc – life doesn’t think inside the box.  Heck, it’s not even aware that a box exists.

In fact, I guess it’d be safe to say that expecting or looking for normal would make as much sense as a dog chasing a car.  We aren’t going to catch it – and even if we did, we wouldn’t know what to do with it once we had it.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting peace, happiness, and smooth sailing. Wouldn’t we be simpletons if we didn’t want these things in our life?

But, if one gets to the place that they think they can only be happy, pleasant, or in a good mood when every t is crossed and every i is dotted – well, that’s going to be one miserable person.  That’s probably why there are so many miserable people in the world – most people today seem to think they’re entitled to Easy Street.

Seriously, have you ever seen so many grumps simply because they have to stand in line for a few minutes? Or grouches behind the wheel if you aren’t going fast enough to suit them? Entitled with a capital E and Miserable with a capital M.

Do What You Can and Try Not to Worry About the Rest

When you feel like you’re chasing normal, ask yourself a few questions.

  1. Is my situation one I can change?
  2. Is my situation one that I’ll simply have to “ride out”?

If your normal IS something that you can attract back into your life  – what are you waiting for?!  Do what you can to make the situation better.

  • If you have relationships in your life that feel strained and you find yourself arguing more than ever, swallow your pride and do your part to make things better.  If you need to forgive… forgive.  Make the first move, you’ll be the winner in the end.
  • If you’re overwhelmed at work or at home, sit down and make a list.  Divide the things you have to get done into “bite sized” chunks.  Take each, one at a time, and put a glorious line through each as it becomes a done instead of a to do.
  • If there’s something troubling you that you have no control over (such as an illness), find a way to cope.  Sometimes, it helps to remind yourself that “It is what it is.” None of us get through life unbruised.  God’s own Son faced more adversity, pain, hatred, betrayal, and poverty than any of us ever will… and look Who He knew!  In fact, there are people, even now, who have it much, much worse than we’ll ever have it.  When we remind ourselves of that fact – it makes our burdens seem smaller.

Above all, remember this:  The next time you’re looking for normal – look around you. It may have a few scrapes, it may have an itchy rash, it may be short on funds – but it’s all normal.  It’s life… and very often, it IS what we make it.

Make each moment count double,
~ Joi

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