Not normal became the normal for a year of crazy chaos. The year of 2020 will go down in many books as a year of overflowing “not normal.” About the time we settled into the “not normal” so that it became normal, something else would come along and up-end it all.
Each year I set a theme and an anchor word to carry me through the year. My word for 2020 happened to be prosperity – meaning nothing missing and nothing broken.
The irony is not lost on me.
My theme for 2020 came from 2 Timothy. The plaque I made reminded me to continue in what I had learned and what I had become convinced of, which is not always easy when you find yourself outside of every comfort zone you’ve placed.
Getting Past the Unsettled Moments
This holiday season has been a particular struggle. The insurance negotiations stalled. The house we were renting sold. One of our dogs died, leaving the other without his sister and alone on the farm. The older boys couldn’t be here for Christmas. And the decorations were packed away in the PODs because I never imagined being in a rental this long.
Nothing felt right, and nothing looked right, and on top of it all, I got sick.
This morning, Christmas Eve, I sat next to the new Christmas Tree my older sons brought when they came on the 23rd to celebrate early. I reflected on the ornaments they had hung on the tree – not the usual stash of their ornaments (because each boy has a box), but the misfit ornaments that rarely make it out of the box anymore.
We had an early celebration that wasn’t normal in any way. If I’m honest, our celebration has never been all that normal. The boys slept in, even when they were little. We had breakfast instead of dinner. We didn’t go out visiting, preferring to stay home and enjoy the day.
So, our normal isn’t normal, and this year was no exception.
Seeing Beyond Not Normal
I pondered the day as I listened to the rain falling on the tin roof. It wasn’t normal, but it was good. We laughed. We shared. We were together.
If we all took a few moments to embrace the good around us, then even these times of “not normal” would find a foundation of calm and peace.
Before, I had been focused on what wasn’t. The insurance wasn’t settled. The location wasn’t our home of 25 years. The decorations weren’t where they were supposed to be.
The moment I made the choice to begin seeing the positives, my attitude shifted. With the shifting, everything seemed to change.
Our dog sleeps snuggly in his bed by the fireplace, still adjusting to his new “not normal” but finding his way to settled. The insurance claim manager called to let me know that he had fought for us and would continue fighting for us, so that process is moving forward again. And the simple sound of a wren tweeting at the window brings a bit of our woods to the place we are currently calling home.
Nothing missing. Nothing broken.
I had a revelation this morning. The anchor of prosperity I set at the first of the year grounds me even now. It’s not about money or circumstances. Prosperity begins in the heart. I choose to find the good and the positive which brings me into a place where I see the good and the positive – therefore, nothing is missing, and nothing is broken.
It might not look the way I expected. It might not be where I expected. But it is good, and that makes this not normal time better than anything normal could have offered.