I feel like I must say something to you. Something that makes a difference in your life. Something that creates calm and positive thoughts amidst the craziness that is our world today. Something that doesn’t promote the new normal.
But what do I say? Relax? Hang in there? It’ll all be better soon?
Listen to Nature
The birds seem to know what to say. Their voices are not silenced. Their community still strong. Flitting along like the world has not gone insane. Building their homes, creating new life, singing a chorus of words that seem to just be out of our reach.
What if we took examples from them? What could I say to you then?
Sing a song? Celebrate the sunshine and the cool breeze cavorting across the waters of the lake? Dance barefoot in the morning dew of the freshly cut grass?
Those are wonderful words. So that is what I will say. Sing! Celebrate! Dance!
What else are we to do when things get a tad bit wacky? Wallow in the mud until we slip quietly under? Lose ourselves in the virtual world that is quietly waiting to tear us away from human touch?
Not the New Normal!
Fuck that! This will not be the new normal. Let’s sing, celebrate, and dance! This world is the only one we’ve got! This life is the only life we’ll live.
So, how am I feeling right now? I’m not sure how to answer that. The birds are singing eloquently all around me. Ken and I are parked with RAIF at an Alabama State Park, lakeside, trailside, and surrounded by friends.
Yet, I feel myself being sucked into the media, sucked under the mud, drowning in the overload of all that consumes our world today.
And then, the birdsong gently breaks into my drowning consciousness, and as I rise up out of the self-pity that seems to define so many of us today, I cannot help but recall lyrics from my favorite band, Michael Franti and Spearhead.
You never know what the world’s gonna show you. It ain’t up to you.Michael Franti and Spearhead – lyrics from Once a Day
You always think it’s gonna happen to another person. And it’s never ever gonna happen to you.
But then life comes along, and it knocks you right down to the ground and that’s why I say,
And everybody gotta love somebody, every day!
And we all will rise up! (Spread your wings and fly)
As a society, we seem to wait for disasters to occur to come together as a community.
Disasters create a “community of sufferers” that allows individuals to experience an immensely reassuring connection to others. As people come together to face an existential threat, class differences are temporarily erased, income disparities become irrelevant, race is overlooked, and individuals are assessed simply by what they are willing to do for the group.Charles Fritz’s theory as quoted from the book, Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger
While this is all fine and dandy, don’t wait until shit hits the fan to build a life you love and to surround yourself with a tribe who supports you. Do it now, because you might not have tomorrow. I think if we’re going to learn anything from this, it’s that. Don’t accept any of this as the new normal, create and maintain community because life is awesome, not in spite of it.
Community and Mindset
So how do you create happiness amidst all the chaos? It’s mindset, really. If you want to change your life, you have to change your mind. Community helps with that.
So in this strange world of social media, social isolation, and social distancing, it’s still vital to be a part of a community. And maybe we can’t all be drinking a beer together at the local brewery right now, but we can be together through support of each other as humans, realizing that this social distancing thing better damn well be temporary, because I’m not very good at it, and I don’t plan to be, either. This is not my new normal.
Leave the Comfort to the Mattress
While I understand the reasoning of finding the positives in this chaotic world (I do my best to build a positive mindset), I also don’t want to get too comfortable with the world today. Comfort breeds complacency and ambivalence. And while I’m all for being comfortable, I’ll leave that to my memory foam mattress and my squishy pillows, and the snails moving slowly through the moist Alabama forest.
Life, on the other hand, is meant to be explored. It is unknown, gut-wrenching, overwhelmingly beautiful and painful at the same time. It is not easy.
“Where there’s life, death is inevitable. Dying’s easy; it’s living that’s hard. The harder it gets, the stronger the will to live. And the greater the fear of death, the greater the struggle to keep on living.”Mo Yan
Life is Beer is Life
So, I plan on approaching life the same way I always have, the way I approach new beers – with excitement and anticipation. Sometimes I’m in for the full pint: hook, line, and sinker without knowing a thing about the beer. Other times, just a taste is a good start, and then I’m either in or out, but if I’m out, I’ll keep coming back until I’m in.
Life’s too short to be out.
So, relax, hang in there, it’ll all be better soon. Sing, Celebrate, Dance. Because we’re not jut waiting for it to be over, we’re planning for that next beer.
Articles to help you stay sane and plan your future, or at least be entertained today.
- Craft Beer Biking
- Craft Beer Tourist
- Resources to Build a Life that is Not the New Normal
- 6 Tips to Stay Sane… by our great friend at Moore Adventure in Life
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