What is Normal?

Posted on Jan 19 2012 - 2:14am by momcafe

What is Normal?

With things finally going back to normal around here, I have found myself realizing that normal is a relative word. I have been spending much of my time wondering what exactly is normal anyway? The dictionary defines NORMAL as:

Conforming to the standard or the common type; usual, regular, natural…

Hmm.

What is the “standard” or “common type”?

I wonder…

I’m not normal. My kids are not normal. My parenting is not normal. The weather is not normal. And well, the world is not normal…

I wear my socks inside out all the time. They are softer that way.
I still wipe my kid’s butt. He turns six in a few days.
My daughter has missed 16 days of school this year. It’s only January.
I serve tacos for breakfast. And cereal for dinner.
It’s 50 Degrees, here in Ohio. And it’s winter.
More U.S. Soldiers have taken their life, than those who have fallen in the Iraq war and Afghanistan war.

Not normal.

For the first time in over two months, both of my kids made it to school today. I had what you would call, a normal day. No one was sick. No one was shoved into any out-of-whack episode of “the abnormal” today. I had your common type morning, and somewhat of a standard afternoon, and even a fairly regular evening. Our “routine” has resumed, for now. Actually, as much as I begged for weeks on end, for one normal day and desperately ached for some structure and rhythm…now that I finally have it, I find it difficult to adapt.

I feel like a toddler learning to walk, a newborn fawn with buckling knees, or a flopping fish out of water. It feels down right abnormal. I am so used to things not being normal, that when these things we call “standard” or “common type” finally land and all the millions of particles settle themselves…I come out of it with a sort of “abnormal hangover”. I always need to re-learn what I would normally do… when things are going as they should. There are times when our abnormal lifestyle ends up being, well regular…standard…common.

I swing in and out of this twisted fate, as things often are not normal around here. And yet, does anyone really live in the land of “normal”? What is “standard” for all? Is there truly a “common type” of life? As I think through the social norm, the educational standard, and the regular routine of any given day… I find it almost impossible. It seems there is some type of “normal” out there floating around in this universe…almost an existential and surreal world of limitations, expectations and barriers that keep us all in line. But I have yet to find anyone or any life that is common or standard. I suppose there truly is no such thing…

The only word I see that fits this NORMAL definition is…

Natural.

NORMAL: A state of being that feels most comfortable; natural.

 

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5 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Marcia January 26, 2012 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Love this entry! It is SO true! Why is this such a “secret”? I think we all think that our lives are “abnormal” and long to be like the neighbors who are “normal” (but probably aren’t??). Chris you are truly insightful, gifted and hilarious! Love to read your stories you share. It brings sunshine to me day!

    • momcafe January 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm - Reply

      YOU just made my day! Thanks so much dear friend!!! Your encouragement is such a blessing to me…

  2. Jen January 28, 2012 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    Yes! love this one too!! I love reading your blogs and book :) Keep them coming when you have time my dear friend!!!

  3. Diana March 1, 2012 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    This post made me think of one of my favorite quotes, by Mary Jean Iron :

    Nomal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.

    • momcafe March 1, 2012 at 2:54 pm - Reply

      Okay…that is the most amazing piece of writing EVER!! I want to cut and paste it on my post! Will have to ask Derek to help me with that! Thank you soooo much for sharing it! And thanks sooo much for taking the time to read me. :)

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