Amanda Jolley

Reflection on pattern and abstraction of the subconscious

What Is Normal?

As she added another event to her Outlook calendar, she shifted her priorities in her mind. What would she have to give up to fit this in? Her mind easily wandered to all she’s been wanting to accomplish, but just hasn’t had the time. She thought, “I just haven’t had consistent time in my art studio, and I really need to work on the yard before it gets too cold. But I’ve really got to go through those clothes before fall is too far underway. If I just had one normal week without anything extra happening, I could get so much done.”

I found this thinking invading my mind so frequently that I realized what I consider “normal” rarely happens. The root of normal is NORM. What is the norm in my life? Is it that uneventful week I keep dreaming about? No. My normal week is as varied and unpredictable as my husband’s work schedule (which changes from day to day).

This wrong thinking of what is normal is unhealthy. It breeds discontentment. The various events and experiences of any given week can become burdensome if viewed from a skewed lens of normal. Rather than thinking of what I am losing by adding or moving around events during our week, I must think of what I am gaining. Life should be approached as an adventure. What adventure will I face this week? So I have readjusted my thinking and now view my ever changing ebb and flow of weeks as normal.

When that rare gem of a quiet, uneventful week comes along, will I really tackle all those things that fall to the bottom of my priorities? I may just throw that list out the window and go bask in the sun. After all, Normal will hit again very soon.

amanda ∞

4 Comments on “What Is Normal?”

  1. Amanda- I really hear what you’re saying. My husband’s job leaves very little room for “normal”. I had to accept that years ago before I let it destroy any chance of being content.
    You are so right in discovering that the “secret” to contentment is the right attitude. Thanks for sharing your pearls of wisdom. You do it so well.

  2. Amanda,

    You hit the nail on the head of a problem I had growing up. I love my father and he had many, many wonderful qualities but… he had a mind picture of what a “normal” holiday was to be that was unrealistic for the mix and composition in our family. We were too imperfect to carry off a perfect holiday and so they were always stressful.

    BTW, Marissa told me one day that her favorite days were the days we had so much on the calendar that we felt like we were going crazy! So, she would love your normal.

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