A new normal (a cliche)

For the longest time, I felt life was on hold. First for weeks. Then months.

The first wave of infections came and went, followed by a second wave (to a smaller extent in Sydney, for which we are extremely lucky) and even a third wave in other countries.

It’s been seven months since Australia first started its lockdowns. Restrictions have eased where I am, but things still aren’t back to where things were in February.

And I’ve slowly come to realise that this is it. Life is not on hold, it continues. And although we’re unable to live as freely, and making plans feels more uncertain that it used to, we have to move forward. The phrase “the new normal” has been thrown around quite a lot, but I think it’s only now that I’ve started to accept it.

We went for our first proper mini-holiday earlier this month. Since we couldn’t travel interstate (not to mention overseas), we went to a small town in the Southern Highlands. We stayed in a lovely boutique motel and spent the weekend exploring the town’s local shops, eating delicious food and going for a short bushwalk through a nearby national park.

It was wonderful to get away to explore a new place for the sole reason of relaxing.

And it drummed home the fact that this was it. Borders aren’t opening anytime soon. There’s no point in me holding out to being able to travel to the Philippines for December like initially planned – it’s definitely not happening.

But there is room for other plans. We’ve decided to do more of these little breaks when we can. We’ve already planned another small trip in November. Nothing too fancy or expensive, but a small getaway to celebrate our birthdays.

We’ve been meeting up with friends. Obviously in different ways from before, where meeting after work in the city was the most convenient option.

I’ve started exercising more intensely again. I’m still not comfortable going to face to face exercise classes, but I’ve realised that the exercise alternatives I had (primarily leisurely walks around the park and once-a-week online dance classes) were not cutting it. So I’ve decided to get off my butt and whip myself into better shape.

And the list goes on…

Here’s to adjusting to the new normal.

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