Itching for Normal?

Greetings one and all…

I intended to write and post this blog several days ago. Every day, “Write a Cardinal Note” was at the top of my list of things to do. But the spirit never moved me to sit down and put my thoughts and feelings into words. When I can’t write, it usually means something is stirring in my heart and soul. Such was the case up until today. 

I don’t know about you, but I am growing weary of the COVID-19 situation and the myriad of changes prompted by this global crisis. I am ITCHING for NORMAL – a day that unfolds in the customary manner. But that’s just not possible, for me or for anyone else. Not surprisingly, I find the mornings to be the hardest – the moment I awaken. That’s when reality slaps me in the face. That’s when I remember we aren’t in Kansas anymore Toto!

But this is our reality my friends. Nothing is normal because we are knee-deep in the midst of change – change after change after change! Because of the magnitude and the myriad of changes, it’s not surprising that many of us feel physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted from time to time. So, how are we to deal with this unexpected and unwanted reality?

Remember  – NO Whining! One of my brother’s favorite sayings was “NO Whining!” In fact, he had a plaque on his desk stating this sentiment. The other night when I was knee-deep in a pity party, in the silence of my room I heard Richard say these words – NO WHINING! And I smiled. Those were JUST the words I needed to get out of my pit of despair. It was the proverbial cosmic kick in the ass! I deserved it. I needed it. And I am so incredibly thankful for it! Remembering my brother’s words of wisdom, I feel a life-giving shift in energy, perspective, and expectations. Instead of being a victim of my circumstances, I am choosing to use this moment in time to:

  • Relish my daily walks in the hood.
  • Reconnect with my sense of the Sacred.
  • Reflect on my priorities in life. 
  • Thoughtfully consider what constitutes a meaning-FULL life.
  • Determine what is required of me to create a life that I love.
  • Outline a plan of implementation that requires everything I have to offer – mind, body, and spirit.

Keep Your Sense of Humor: Walking through the neighborhood the other day, I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts – Unlocking Us by Brene Brown. She is an amazing academic and a stellar storyteller. Listening to the hilarious tales of her family, I laughed out loud unabashedly. I am sure those walking or driving by thought I had totally lost it. But I cared not. It felt SO good to laugh – to find humor in the lived experience. I felt 50 pounds lighter after that walk (wishful thinking!). Upon reflection, I realized that I have been taking myself WAY too seriously of late. So, I now strive to see the humor in my new normal when:  

  • Venturing out from home wearing mask and gloves with antibacterial wipes in hand. I am truly a vision – as you can see by the posted picture!
  • Participating in new rituals such as virtual happy hours with friends. My friends are truly creative regarding their attire, drinks, and appetizers. It’s great fun!
  • Wearing a ball cap every day to control my longish, unruly hair. I seemingly have a hat for any occasion and every ensemble. What a time saver! Hat hair is no longer a concern – thank goodness!
  • Trying to decide whether to wear my casual or dress sweats. I know, a tough decision.
  • Attempting to coerce my dog to go for ONE MORE WALK! Bless her heart – Millie has put many miles on her paws over the past 4 weeks. 

Choose a Life-giving Attitude: Today, I am incredibly grateful to have a renewed sense of hope, purpose, meaning, and determination. No, I haven’t thrown on a pair of rose-colored glasses, seeing only what I want to see. Instead, I am choosing to be realistically optimistic – recognizing the current challenges, assessing available resources and options, and seeking hope on the horizon. As a dear, dear friend gently reminded me earlier today, we all have much to learn from this experience. So, my fervent hope and prayer for all of us is that we open our hearts and minds to the possibilities and opportunities to:

  • Grow and evolve in amazing, beneficial, and previously unimagined ways.
  • Expand our capacity for compassion, empathy, and love for others and for ourselves.
  • Realize that if we are to survive and to thrive, coming together is essential.
  • Recognize that the essence of life is discovered in how we choose to serve other people.
  • Seek the Sacred in the simple, ordinary moments of life. 

If you are itching for normal, scratch that itch by accepting the fact that your previous normal is no longer possible. Although our desire to return to normal is intense, the reality is that “what was” was not a utopia! There is definitely room for improvement on the past. Therefore, believe that you have the chance to create a new normal, an enhanced normal – a way of being that fills you up, brings you joy, and soothes your soul. You have the opportunity to create a life that you love – an EXTRAordinary way of being. More than likely, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for each and every one of us. May we embrace this historic moment to evolve, to grow, to reflect, to serve, and to become all we are called to be. 

So, I am curious – How do you choose to move through this challenging time and live beyond it? I would love to hear how you intend to live from this day forward. Inspire me and everyone around you! You can be the spark that ignites the light within others. Shine on my friends….

Take good care and BE WELL. Savor every moment. Be a positive force in the world. You are needed now more than ever. Blessings to you and yours…..jane


  1. I start my day with prayer and a mass on TV with Bishop Barren. His homilies follow me through the day and gives me something to reflect on besides our current delima. I try to stay busy get projects done, finally. Keeping in touch with my dearest friends and family for laughter and a sense of belonging is a must. Most important to me is giving thanks to God for all my blessings and His divine forgiveness.

    Nanny G


  2. Love all of your words, Janie! All my years of knowing you, you remain such an inspiration! I start out each day Praising the One True God of our universes and thanking Him for being the ONE on the throne! I know He hears me as He answers prayer all the time. And, we all know, He will get us all through this. His world will heal..
    Today I was in the garden getting all my little plant “friends” ready for their Spring debut. I thanked them for showing up and I let them know how much they will be cared for, viewed and enjoyed this summer. Wait a second….am I talking crazy?! I just read that back and it sounds coo coo. Maybe I am… Well! Its out now!


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