Thursday, August 14, 2008

The New Normal

I was in high school in the 80’s and I remember being in the 9th or 10th grade and wanting some orange converse high top all stars. I am not sure why. They weren’t quite my style. I was quite “preppyish” then. But they were unique, not many people had them. So, I worked for them, saved my money and bought them. (Please accept my belated apologies if you ever saw me in them). It was perfectly normal for me to wear them every chance I got. That along with members only jackets, a double belt, legwarmers, jelly shoes, a nanny goat fur coat were among other fashion dares of that time. If this were 1984, those items would still be normal. But now in 2008, my kids would nail the doors shut before allowing me to go out like that.

Why? Although I liked those things then, the season for them has passed. My "new normal" is suits, pantyhose and pumps for work, green sprite pop printed pajama pants at home (hey, my husband bought them and they are my absolute favorite). But to see me in those pajama pants at home or a suit at work would not shock anyone who knew me. They realize times change, fashions and designs improve and adjust depending on the season and creativity. In 2008 I wouldn’t get pulled over by the fashion police and asked “Where are your purple and gold leg warmers from 1982?” Seems silly, because what worked then doesn’t work now and no one will fault you for changing your “normal”.

That is unless you are talking about almost anything that is not material. If you change your mind about a thought process, a way of doing things, a method of approaching something or a decision, you are looked at as a “flip flop”or unstable. Ok well how about this…how about “I changed my mind”. That's it. Its’ just as plain and as simple as that. What worked for me then doesn’t work anymore. What I thought then was based on the information I had at the time. What I think now is based on what I know now. Some of us are afraid of change just out of fear of what people may think. I’ve had to change a lot in the past 5-6 years. There are those who may not like it…and I say…um yeah well-I don't know what ta tell ya…. Things that used to be important to me just aren’t anymore. Things that I use to HAVE to do or things I HAD to be involved in…Well, I just don’t have to do that anymore. Some call it the "40" flip (and I will lend some credence to that-after I turned 40 my focus did turn a tad to the left and it's great). Some call it maturing. For me, I suppose, I just did what I had to do. That's what a Superspouse/Superparent does. You adjust to the blend and deal with it. Having a quieter home is not the norm now, so? Having alot of space and time to myself is a distant thing of the past, so? My husband not having to share a closet or bathroom is so over (sorry dahlin', but scoot over). Making decisions independent of someone else isn't the way its done anymore, and? We just face it- Our normal is changing daily.

There were certain ways I did things in the past from as simple as paying the bills or banking to gardening and laundry that I don’t approach the same anymore. Or it could be more serious, such as how I handle offenses. Some believe that the opposite of change is consistency. I believe the opposite of change is closer to “stagnant”. As in, you are becoming inactive or dormant. As a stepfamily, what worked in your previous family 9.85 times out of 10 won’t work in totality in your new family. You have to be open to change to function effectively. If you don’t, you will be the equivalent of being in 2008 wearing Orange Converses with a Members Only jacket and purple and gold leg warmers. Not cute people. Not cute at all. Be open and flexible to change and get used to your new normal even if it includes wearing green sprite pajama pants .

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