This crisis has affected different families in different ways and in varying degrees. I can’t emphasize enough that we are living through a significant event. Sometimes it may not feel like it but we are. Much of the normalcy of our previous lives has been gone long enough now that a new normal has emerged. We all hoped things would get back to the way it was, but now we are realizing that some things may never be the same.
Every week brings with it a new sense of anticipation as we all look for new statistical trends and guidelines. Yet we have no control over where any of this leads us.
Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl once wrote, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves”. Imagine the hopelessness that could creep in to a man’s soul as he shuffles from one Nazi concentration camp to another. Frankl survived by taking control of his own attitude. He did not allow the situation to take control of him.
We all have the ability within us to choose for ourselves how we react to our circumstances.
There are many instances of this playing out in both positive and negative ways. Pet adoption is at all time record highs, but so is alcohol consumption. Sheltering in place provides families with the opportunity to connect and bond with each other. Yet domestic violence has recently increased. An unprecedented number of workers now have the opportunity to work from home. But whether they are actually working and being productive remains unknown
Drastic change like what we have experienced draws a line between great and mediocre. Great restaurants retooled with efficient and effective curbside services early on. Mediocre eateries sat by waiting for their old normal to return. As supply chains buckled, shelves remained bare in mediocre grocery stores. The great ones sourced staple goods in bulk and repackaged them for sale to their customers.
Whether we fall in the mediocre or great camp has less to do with our circumstances than it does our attitude. We can come out the other side of this crisis stronger, leaner, and better prepared for what the future holds. Or we can blow with the wind and let our circumstances have their say. The choice is ours to make.
We should consider positive changes within the constraints of our current circumstances to choose our new normal. The old normal is gone.