COVID, Friday 5

New Normal

In case you hadn’t noticed, these are some strange times. This whole thing has just been totally wacka-doodle, but I feel that right now things are even stranger. 

I personally am someone who generally thrives on routines and predictability. I tend to feel uneasy when I don’t know what to expect or when things are changing all the time. Obviously, right now everything is up in the air. Across the country businesses are starting to open up, very slowly in some places and more quickly in others, but we just don’t really know exactly how “normal life” is going to look within 3 months, 6 months or even a year. 

This week I was out of my house more than any week prior so far since lockdown began in March. Actually, I realized that Tuesday (the day we got Flint and Steel and had to drive into Madison to the pet store) was the first time I had been out of my town since we drove home from the airport on March 23! I had only personally been to the grocery store once before this week, Target once, the post office once, to the library for a curbside pickup and to a few drive-thru restaurants. Crazy! It’s so weird.

But this week, with my days off, I ended up having a few errands to run. 

I had an Amazon return to drop at the UPS Store, I needed to stop at a lumber store to place an order for some base moulding for our never-ending kitchen remodel, I needed some things from Target, we needed groceries and I needed to pick up a larger hamster house from the pet store. 

While at the pet store, I picked up this great pet “play pen” for the guys! I’ll have to take a picture of it when the boys have all of their toys in there….they set up their wheels, tubes, etc. and it’s like a whole hamster amusement park!

I ended up feeling very “turned off” to the whole experience of being out, for lack of better words. This was actually the first time that I had worn a mask in public (as I said, I had had extremely limited trips out before!). I did not enjoy wearing the mask at all. I’m not saying I won’t or shouldn’t, I’m just saying I didn’t like it. It felt very surreal to be putting a face mask on to go into TARGET. I just really didn’t like it! It felt like a sci-fi movie or something and it gave me an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach. 

At the UPS Store, of course they had the markings on the floor, the shields up, everyone in masks… Again, it just made me feel uneasy. I guess I just miss “normal life”. I don’t like hearing recordings in the stores reminding people to “keep 6 ft between you and other shoppers”. I don’t like not holding the door for the person behind me so that we can stay farther apart. At the lumber store I had to call them from my car and then wait for an attendant to come meet me outside to discuss, from a distance, what I needed to order. 

It made me think about how life is going to be as the world re-opens, and to be honest, my trips out the other day made me sort of sad. I guess I was naively envisioning “re-opening” to mean “back to normal”, for some reason. I know that can’t be the case, but the whole experience made me want to pout, “Well, if this is how it’s going to be, then I just don’t want to go out anyway.” Childish, maybe, but that’s just how I felt. 

I can’t wait to go out to eat at a restaurant, but I don’t want to go eat at a restaurant wearing a mask and with half the tables taped off and waitresses wearing face shields or something. (Again, I’m not saying these precautions shouldn’t be taken, just that I wish it weren’t necessary). 
I’m still immensely grateful for my family’s health during this time, and trust me, it is not lost on me how fortunate I am to have my biggest concern be that I “don’t like” wearing a mask to get groceries. That being said, I’m still a human being with feelings and emotions and my own struggles with disappointments and losses or frustrations during this time, and these sentiments are still real too. 

But, because this blog is called Grateful Kae, let’s close on a quick Friday Five positive list to turn my frown upside down!! Haha.

1. It is a beautiful sunny morning! (Colder than heck, but sunny!)

2. I got an awesome workout in already this morning and have completed Week 2 of my new program! (minus the stretch day tomorow)

3. The boys have almost finished their schoolwork for the week! Should be a pretty easy day on the school front.

4. I got my Mom a really cool Mother’s Day present that can be sent virtually! (I ordered her a subscription to Story Worth– have you heard of it? They will send her a random question each week by email about her life/history, like “Tell me about a time you overcame a big challenge” or “What were your family vacations like as a kid” or something. Then at the end of the year they will compile all of her responses into a beautiful, hard cover book that we will all keep forever). She is pretty into genealogy and recording family history so I think she will like this.

5. My refrigerator is fully stocked with tons of good, healthy foods which I’m so grateful for -plus, it means we don’t need to shop over the weekend! 

Seriously grateful for access to SO MUCH healthy food, the ability to BUY the healthy food and, I really also love the new fridge we got last summer. 

Steps: 10,152
Mediate: Done!
Read: 20 minutes

Daily Gratitude:
I am grateful today for sunshine. Especially in the spring and early summer, there is something about the sunshine that is so beautiful. Waking up early and seeing the sun rising up and the gorgeous tones of the sky just gets me every time. I’m grateful that some days it’s cloudy though, too- it makes those sunny days even more beautiful! 

3 thoughts on “New Normal”

  1. I barely go anywhere since I'm high risk (have RA and am on immune suppressant drugs to treat it). I have gone to a couple of (essential) doctor appointments and have gotten coffee twice. It feels weird to wear a mask but in those settings, everyone was wearing one so it felt sort of 'normal'? Not ideal, though, for sure. I feel like 'normal' is a very long ways off – like not until we get a vaccination. I don't see us eating in a restaurant anytime soon. What makes me most sad is not knowing when I will see my parents next. They have a lake home in Minnesota and we usually go there once a month. Last year we went for 5 days in August for our summer vacation and it was so wonderful. I don't know how we can go up there this summer, though, now that our son is back in daycare. I have no idea what he is exposed to. My parents are over 70 and my dad has kidney problems, so they are high risk. I haven't even talked to my mom about this because she is going to freak out when she hears they might not see us this summer… :…(


  2. Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that about your summer plans. I can imagine that is SO disappointing. I think this is going to become extra hard for people as the disruptions extend into our precious summertime. Spring isn't that exciting in the Midwest, so I feel like this has been an overall easier time to have to lay low. But no one is going to like the idea of being stuck at home away from family during summer vacations, holidays, etc. Maybe wait and see what August will bring! That is a ways away yet. By the way, thank you so much Lisa, for reading and commenting frequently. As a new blogger, I REALLY appreciate the interactions and support! 🙂 Just wanted to let you know that!


  3. Yes I know what you mean about the weird feeling of being, like, a contagion, when you're out and about. (Or feeling like everyone else is a contagion!) We have really limited our trips out, both because we are still in lockdown and because we are trying to be cautious, but even those trips feel strange. We have masks and have started wearing them but it's so anti-social to not see anyone's smile (or be able to smile back). I try not to think too far ahead because I don't think we're going back to 'normal' anytime soon and it's depressing to think of all the limitations that will be needed until there's a vaccine. BUT – let's be grateful for our health and for the comfort of our homes and for the ability to spend quality time – soooo much quality time 🙂 – with our husbands and kids!


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