Normal?

"If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be." -Maya AngelouThe past week was anything but normal for me, and included my first trip to the Norfolk branch of my employer’s offices. Making that drive in the remnants of all the storms that have been in the area recently was an exercise in white-knuckled attention, and has required most of the rest of the week to recover from. I’m grateful hubs was able to be my eye in the sky and warn me of where the pockets of rain would be, as well as the slow-downs. It’s just a small example of the thoughtfulness and caring he brings to my life on a regular basis, and a blessing even he tends to downplay.

This weekend, then, brought the final act of our overly hectic social calendar, when we attended a Social Distortion concert. It was a sold-out event and not music I typically enjoy, but there was a time when hubs was a huge fan of that band, so I accompanied him to share his fun. Friends went with us, and we had a lovely meal together beforehand at an Ethiopian place just a few doors down from the concert venue. Then we discovered the self-involved, oblivious, rude (male) audience members who couldn’t understand, let alone respect the need for personal space in a crowded place. The other woman in our party of four and I tolerated about an hour of being shoved, nudged, and almost knocked over before we retreated to a downstairs bar to wait out the rest of the event.

Given the news cycle this week about other entitled men, I found this NPR opinion piece by an Asian American woman deconstructing the history of Asian racial epithets a thoughtful and well-researched counterpoint to the feel of the week. Or this stunning article about a blind man going on safari.

The unfortunate truth is that so many people are just pushing themselves to fit some niche of “normal,” that they completely forget that that’s not actually something to aspire to. What I found beautiful this week was Madeleine L’Engle tweeting quotes from her (for-me-seminal) Time Quintet series.

“What else is there?” Mrs. Murry’s voice was low and anguished.

“There are still stars which move in ordered and beautiful rhythm. There are still people in this world who keep promises.”

Which is an interesting pivot for me: I didn’t touch my WIP this week.

Probably not surprising given all the disruptions in my week. Probably not surprising either that my average step count dropped precipitously to 4,602 per day, according to my Fitbit stats. At least my average hours slept stayed over 7 hours (7 hours and 26 minutes to be precise). But none of that accounts for the sense of TIRED that pervaded me this week.

Last week I said I would consider what reasonable goals might be for this latest Round of Words. I’m not sure I have a handle on that, still, but I know that 500 words per week with some weeks off will not help me reach my author career goal of two book releases per year. So I’m restating the majority of my goals from the last Round. (I did at least finish two of my big goals last Round: Find and start a new job, and declutter the hall closet.)

 

  1. Finish writing Team Alpha.
  2. Submit Team Alpha to my editor.
  3. Return to my weekly blog schedule with my ROW80 updates.
  4. Walk at least 2 miles a day.
  5. Sleep at least 7 hours a night.
  6. Keep the sanctity of my weekly date night with hubs.

I think that’s enough to be getting on with for now, and I’ll be keeping an eye on weekly word counts. Since I need to write approximately 40K words to finish this book, that breaks down to about 5K words per week over the next two months. Normally, that’s entirely doable. As alluded to in the title of this week’s post, I’m still finding normal, and wondering which normal makes the most sense for me to align with. For now, it’s all a work in progress, but I’ll keep you posted as I find my way.

 

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