As I head into Week 4 of 12 weeks at home I finally feel more settled in my ‘new normal’. Don’t get me wrong my friends, I still really, really, really miss popping on a frock, brushing my hair, putting on some make up and heading in to Heart Gallery for the day; and can’t wait for those days to return. My ‘new normal’ attire involves pyjamas, a faithful onesie, baggy tracky bottoms with t-shirt or lycra leggings and gym vest and footwear is either bare feet, slippers, trainers, walking boots or wellies … I just seem to be rotating them depending on what I feel like doing! (Are you all with me on this one or am I alone?).
I wanted to write this blog post sooner to be honest but everytime I sat down at my mac, my brain didn’t seem to want to engage with my website. It was quite happy to scroll through social media and get lost down that rabbit hole for hours on end, play solitaire, read a few pages of a book or attempt a jigsaw but when it came to writing about my ‘new normal’ it was stubborn and flatly refused to participate. I was beating myself up for not being able to concentrate when it seemed that others around me were just ‘on it’. Post after post of positivity started to grate and yet I’ve always tried to be a Carpe Diem person and celebrate having a glass half full. What was happening?
I finally realised that I was in a transitional phase of this part of my life I had no control over and I just had to give in to it and accept. So I did. Long nights spent battling with the covers turned in to the most wonderful dawns as I rose much earlier than I ever have done in my life (I am a night owl and not a morning lark!). The stillness of the house enveloping me and keeping me safe whilst I made my morning espresso and listened to the birds; grateful for a home in the countryside far from the madding crowd.
Nature has become far bolder over the past few weeks and I’ve seen deer sneak a party in the garden before the rest of the village has woken from slumber, birds busy collecting twigs for their nests and singing a joyous song, so many butterflies and bees enjoying the first nectar of Spring and even our local pheasant Gregory now visits daily instead of weekly. These moments have been the silver linings; the stillness and the calm.
My ‘new normal’ is quite rewarding now I have surrendered to it. Slowly settling in to a new daily routine hasn’t been easy but I finally feel as though there is a bit of structure back in my life. I have allowed the weather to dictate the jobs. I have listened to my body. I have tuned in to what I need. I have the gift of time.
I am certain that I have not been the only one struggling to come to terms with a ‘new normal’, and for many this acceptance may not yet have happened. For 3 weeks I felt that I was sitting in a rocking chair; moving backwards and forwards with no end destination. I now find myself comfortably seated for many minutes of the day in a chair by the window watching the world go by whilst being quite happy to just be still. I have noticed how pleasant it is to just sit and be still, to not plan, to not rush about trying to cram so much into my days; to breath and feel blessed whilst sitting with grief and gratitude.
Who would have thought at the beginning of this year when we were facing severe weather and Storms Ciara and Dennis that worse times for retail in Hebden Bridge were just around the corner? I didn’t know that as well as a FLOODS folder in my emails I would also have a COVID-19 on and a FURLOUGH one! We are a resilient bunch here and do seem to have an ability to behave like Tigger at times like these; perhaps more bounce than Tigger. But how many of us will run out of bounce this time round; who will survive?
I am busy trying to plan for recovery hoping that the ‘new normal’ I have embraced will bring with it fresh ideas and new inspiration. Hebden Bridge is blessed with so many wonderful independent businesses and for Heart Gallery to survive we all have to survive. This is my hope for our future; a bright new connected, creative, sustainable community.
Our previous ‘normal’ may become a ‘new normal’ but that doesn’t mean that it won’t work because it’s different; sometimes being different is distinctive …. and Hebden Bridge has always been distinctive has it not?
We love our not for profit community website hebdenbridge.org Please pop over for a visit and bookmark it too … why not spend your ‘new normal’ planning your next trip here x