adjective: conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.
Getting back to “normal” days after being on vacation is always tough, especially after the months of planning, preparing, training, and anticipation.
Our vacation “after-glow” lasted about a day and a half, when normal life called us to attention. It is to be expected, our list of daily to-dos along with the endless projects pending make the task of getting away next to impossible. So when we return, even with good helpers taking care of things while we are gone, “normal” life speeds forward.
And it is at these times, times of changing speeds, that questions come to the top. A lot of those questions revolve around the desire to still be on vacation. “Do I really have to do all these things?” “Can’t someone else take care of this?” And some of the thoughts aren’t questions at all, but in fact complaints mostly beginning with, “I don’t want to…!” The desire to stay on vacation, living life having fun and doing selfish things is hard to put back into a box for another day, possibly another year or more.
I had a neighbor once ask me, “What is ‘normal’?” I thought he was joking, I mean really, who doesn’t know what normal is? But he continued by saying, “Normal is just what YOU know, what you are used to.” It was in this innocent conversation over a resting lawn mower that I began to see life a little differently in more than one way.
Often we think of normal or ordinary days as boring, “conforming to the standard or the common type,” and are hard to be enjoyed. And sometimes those common type days are filled with long stretches of hard stuff that we have to endure or work really hard to get through. But without these “usual”, “not abnormal” days we would have no gauge to measure those unusual, abnormal vacation kind of days. The days when nothing is the way WE are used to. The “normal” helps us to recognize the “abnormal” and supplies us with the needed contrast for the appreciation of both types of days.
Vacation days are truly awesome, and we all need some time of rest and renewal, but it is in the Normal that most of our life happens, dishes, laundry, meals, yard work, cleaning house,…. And it is there that we find comfort, where our purpose is, where God has placed us to make a difference on the well traveled path our feet walk everyday.
Yes, ideas for the next vacation are brewing in my brain, but until then I will seek joy in my normal and hope to help your normal be memorable too.