So here we all were, just minding our own business when…what in holy hell is this nonsense? COVID has become the new apocalyptic kryptonite. No one is (totally) immune to it. No one. You’ve heard it all: wash your hands, don’t touch your face, don’t leave the house. Amost three months in and we’re all going a little…well…nuts.

Just WTF is the new normal? Shaggy hair, unpainted nails, and let’s not even talk about my eyebrows, people! This is NOT normal! Nope, normal we are not. However, it’s also not forever. Patience is a necessity while we let this demon peter out and slither back to the hell that released it.

I have repeatedly said that we all need to take a step back and see the (much) bigger picture. History repeats itself: we were due for an global pandemic. Just like the 100-year flood, hurricanes in the gulf, and wildfires in the west, pandemic epidemics are part of a natural course of nature. It is cyclical; you can set your clock by nature, and we are foolish to believe that being on top of the food chain makes us invincible to its awesome power.

Science has kicked a lot of asses over the years, but some things are still in the hands of the universe. Regardless of our diverse belief systems, we can all agree that something bigger than ourselves is in charge and is starting to be done with our crap. Just sayin’. 

“What’s the bigger picture then, smarty pants?” I’m so glad you asked! Let me get the sharpies…

OK, ready?

New-Normal Considerations

Health care quality and costs suck. It’s time to re-calibrate and adjust. Nurses and EMTs need to be paid more. hospital executives and Big Pharma may need to take profit cuts, and bedside manners need an upgrade. Let’s wake up and proactively improve our health so we spend less time with medical professionals. Like lawyers, they are a necessary evil, but that doesn’t mean we need to give them a reason to spend more time with us. Lace up, strap up, get your ass outside, and MOVE! Even if it’s small movements like walking the stairs, move more and hurt less.

Our home life has suffered. I’ll wait for you to catch up. Really? Not a problem? You live in a shoebox? I have personally hauled out more than 25 boxes and bags of OMG-what-the-hell-is-this-and-where-did-it-come-from? At one point I looked at Mae’s brother and asked, “Just who the hell has been living in our house for the last decade, and why did she leave all of her crap here?”

I must admit that I might have a problem letting go of my stuff. See stuff, unlike people, doesn’t leave unless you want it to go. So I packed up a buttload of my stuff (and stuff that, ahem, others left behind) and gave it the ol’ heave-ho. I’m catching up on all of the house maintenance that has gone unchecked for far too long. If we ever get back to a normal work sitch, I won’t have to worry about taking time off to deal with upkeep for a while. Win-win: no wasting vacation time waiting on the repair guy.

Fitness is no longer just a fad –- It is a must! If you are one of the many people sitting at home putting on the COVID 15 (pounds), I have a suggestion: Step away from the muffin. Put down the corn chips and pick up the dumb bells. Strap on the helmet and get on a bike. Skip rope, have more coitus, do something to get the blood pumping. Turn up the volume and dance your ass off. Stress and a sedentary lifestyle at home will get to you, if you let it. Get up, get moving, and shed some anxiety and maybe some lbs. Tune in, tone up, and show off your new summer bod.

Manage your money: Let’s face it, belt-tightening is a must. Whether or not you’re working (and if you are, feel blessed and pass those extra dollars onto those who need it), we all have the opportunity to take a look at our expenses and stop any leaks, bleeding, or outright bad spending habits. If you own your home, refi now. Rates are averaging 3% right now, and it’s time to strike while the market is not so hot. I’m about to save nearly $500.00 a month on my mortgage. Having a lower expense-to-income ratio is key as you get older and can be the silver lining when times get tough.

Side-hustle nation is on fire! If you haven’t figured it out already, the cavalry isn’t coming for us. Period. While the government is temporarily handing out the cash, it’s eventually going to run out. It has to; printing more of it is only going to be a short-term plug. In a capitalistic society, rewards are given to those who step up and step out and take risks. Side hustling is the new normal. ‘Nuff said. Write a book. Post your travel photos. Blog your ass off. Podcast about nothing at all. Build Furniture. Design jewelry. Wha-eva turns you on (OK, not that!). Do what it takes to put some additional crumbs in your pocket. Do it! Who knows, it could take off and become your main source of bread. Could even make you a star. (Keep it in the circus though, would ya?)

There are a million reasons to be downhearted about what’s happening right now. Stress is high, people are falling ill, and many are not getting back up. For those of us who will need to pick up and move forward, it is our responsibility to carry on as our best selves for those people. So just WTF is the new normal? To be better than we were yesterday and remember those who sacrificed everything so that the rest of us get the chance to be so.

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