Please Define Normal. Thank You.

I found a new blog that I’ve been reading lately called Halfway to Normal.  The author is very different from me but I find her interesting because she faces many difficult challenges in life and has lived to talk about it.  Quite eloquently, in fact.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about what defines a (air quotes) normal life.  I think my opinion on this has changed drastically as of late.

For example, let’s talk about children.  I have three kids who are nothing alike (well, that’s not quite true… they all love to play Rock Band II and eat all of the snacks I purchase). 

I keep trying to grasp what a “normal” kid would do at each of their ages, comparing myself and other kids I’ve known over the years.   All I come up with is this vast sea of children and adolescents who defy categorizing.   Unless your child is torturing small animals in the back yard, you can just presume that they’re normal and just going through stages in life.

Parenting books are no help.  I RUN away from parenting books like they are carrying the plague because they scare me.  They are so formulaic – like you could plug a an x or y into the child’s behavior and then figure out what to do next.  Fat chance.

I think that living on the edge of hysteria is the norm for a lot of people these days too.  I can say this because I work with the public and I can observe their reactions to everyday annoyances, like having to wait in line for a free book or movie.  

I had a woman literally yell at me because she didn’t understand the library’s policies on reserving a book.  If she gets that hot and bothered about a library book, how does she treat other people in life?  One can only wonder.  Then I wondered if she was laid off from her job and can’t pay her bills and that’s why she’s teetering over the edge.

I used to feel like I had a normal family too.  My mother, who used to be very healthy and active, is now very sick with cancer and chronic pain and what’s normal for her now is nothing like it used to be.  I think that I’m becoming part of the “sandwich generation” for which normal is dealing with sick parents. 

I think that the bottom line here is that uncertainty is the new normal.  I’m going to have to start liking it too because it looks like it’s here to stay. 

Maybe I’d better go shopping and buy myself a new outfit.   I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and then what?  You just never know…

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One thought on “Please Define Normal. Thank You.

  1. Have fun picking a cute outfit! And yes, living on the edge of hysteria is the perfect way to describe life these days! Perfect. Add to that the perpetual guilt that parenting books and mags seem to engender in me and I say we find ourselves in perfect agreement!

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