6 Sept 2021

New normal

@clvtno on Twitter wrote a good impromptu thread about the ‘new normal’ and the fallacy of the term:

The phrase ‘new normal’ is one that grinds my gears in a very particular way, because look around… nothing has fundamentally changed. We’ve had almost 2 years to review our processes and approach to literally everything and what do we have? Same old, with a mask on.

It echoed a lot of sentiments I’ve had in my head, rolling around like an unwanted red sock in a washing machine of white clothes. Something I’ve noticed about this ‘new normal’ (🤢) from a personal perspective is how my week has completely flipped. It used to consist of working amongst people Monday to Friday, doing the psuedo-extrovert stuff and coming home in the evening. Then I’d chill at the weekend on my jays doing mostly nothing. But now, it’s almost the opposite. I now work from home (subject to slight change), I’m on my own and when I’m done I just close my laptop and… leave the room. At weekends, however, at least in the last few weeks. I’ve been going out to different places and meeting up with people. I went to Birmingham a couple of weeks ago for teh first time in nearly 2 years, then went again with my son the week after, and this weekend I was at a family gathering. AND I’ve got a long overdue meet up with a friend to see Candyman at a real life cinema. I also plan to see my parents at some point next month and, if I’m lucky, go to Lisbon for my birthday (something I did in 2017 and 2018).

I’m not one of those YOLO types where I’m making up for lost time by engorging my soul into socialisation. It’s just that things have worked out this way. I still prefer my own company in my own house to relax and do nothing. But the role reversal has been strange and interesting. In some ways, I get a little bit more relaxed alone time by being at home to work for the week. I don’t have to talk to people unless I make a video call. I’m still working but it’s easier. Eventually, things will go back to something resembling what they were pre-pandemic and I’ll adjust again. I just hope it’s not 7 days of socialising. I can only fake my extroversion for so long and I already have 2 years of unpacked pandemic anxiety, depression, and existential crises to sort out without adding a loss of identity to add to it (just kidding, I have that too!!!)

Anyway, the new normal can suck it and people who’ve learnt nothing and changed nothing during this current-and-still-happening pandemic can suck it too.