Celebrating the "New Normal"

Celebrating the "New Normal"

We’re in full blown summer mode, but it sure is different this year, isn’t it? This school year seemed to just slide into summer days around here without much fanfare. It’s been pretty quiet as I work from my front porch instead of being filled with the normal noise of traffic. When we bike downtown, the streets aren’t filled with tourists and parking spots are easy to come by. There seems to be a lot missing - people, activities, milestone celebrations. But I’m also seeing a lot of other changes - a lot that we’ve gained.


What We've Gained 

I hear more little voices and laughter as it seems more kids are riding their bikes by our house. We have never had so many people walking their dogs, or couples and families out walking together. From our front porch, we see it all, but the pedestrian traffic has never been this frequent.

We’ve seen more locals than we usually do in our downtown as we went out to dinner in a restaurant for the first time in months. I saw so many neighbors and friends at a BLM rally and even though we were wearing masks, our community was out and present. And then went out again the next night for dinner because it was just so fun to sit on a deck and chat and see people!

It seems as though we have all come out of a den of hibernation and are blinking our eyes as we look up at the sun and tentatively resume life with our neighbors and community. We have shed a lot during this season, but we have gained so much.

Let's Be Intentional

Our events may be more subdued and our gatherings smaller, but I feel we have even more to celebrate. We do! Now is not the time to pull back, be afraid to check in on others, or go back to our normal, busy mode of work and to do lists. Instead, let’s celebrate the everyday things, the friend who is moving, the restaurant that just reopened, the bookstore you’ve missed. Let’s have the neighbor over for Taco Tuesday, or a cocktail porch party, or add two more plates at the table on a random weeknight. We don’t have to go back to busy, but instead let’s be intentional and celebrate all we have gained.
Jennifer Smelker

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