By IVY JACOBS
Just Ask Me
Well, I’m not sure what “normal” means anymore?
I’ve been alive and aware of my surroundings for long enough that knowing what is expected should be a reality. At least I thought so. It means the typical standard. Right?
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “normal” is much more.
As an adjective, normal has three entries with eight subsets of understanding.
I grew up with the “conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern - characterized by that which is considered usual, typical, or routine.”
The subset for number eight goes off into the MATRIX - literally. It made my eye twitch.
I grew up with the “form or state regarded as the normal, or standard.” normal is also a noun, so I knew this second entry. However, it has three subsets of understanding. Subset number two echoes the first, but the third one goes way out there, describing “normal lines to a plane curve between the curve and the X-axis.”
Did I tell you I got an eye twitch? Happened on the other side this time.
Normal is apparently now a geographical name. I am not surprised by this bit of knowledge. There’s a little child named “Apple” somewhere in America.
People call their children all kinds of names; why not call a place Normal.
That sounds reasonable, yet there’s a slight pounding in my temple.
I haven’t even gotten to the part where “normal” is a synonym and an antonym.
Too much information.
I just want life to return to something I understand: It’s been utter chaos for several years as the world and society have struggled on a battlefield of conflicting opinions, moral conflicts, and economic issues.
The war of words and broken spirits exploded on social media into damaged people, erupted families and friendships, creating a vast distrust at the core of many personal relationships.
Throw COVID-19 into the mix, along with imposed quarantines, social distancing and face masks; well, the world is not what it once was.
I stood in line recently at a grocery store to overhear a conversation among a group of young people (20-30 somethings - geesh, I’m old) talking about how it was much easier to remain jobless and draw unemployment.
“Why work at fast-food for $8 bucks an hour when I can draw $400 and stay home and play video games?”
While you can’t argue the logic of that theory - Who wouldn’t take the option if it was available? - but I was raised to work for what I wanted.
To think that this thought process is “normal now,” I admit I’m tired of being an “essential worker” and need some time off.
So, I took a small “stay-cation” at home - giving up my cellphone to my husband - trying to bring order to the messy house I let fall into disarray because of working too much. Cleaning helps calm me because while doing it, I control it, bringing about some order in my life.
I was able to complete approximately 70% of my projects during the time at home. I had to purchase a new vacuum cleaner along the way, went through more trash bags than I thought possible, and gathered up a tower of laundry.
I also enjoyed the comfort of a couple of Christmas gifts - a Keruig coffee maker and a record player, along with some excellent bourbon - each morning. I slept in a couple of mornings, too, even took a couple of naps.
Being disconnected for a while was refreshing.
Yet, as I eagerly returned to work on July 1, I felt a bit discombobulated about the return, even disoriented for a couple of hours. By noon, I was back in the swing of things after making a few phone calls to get in touch with people.
However, back in the corner of my brain that just won’t shut up sometimes, the thought of what is normal annoys my thoughts.
I enjoy my job and can’t even begin to think of what it would be like not to do anything for days on end. I thank God for the elders in my life, who taught me such a valuable lesson, which I think Thomas Edison summed up nicely when he said: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”