Friday, March 2, 2012

What is this new normal business?

You get cancer, have all sorts of fun medical adventures, and then are supposed to reach your new 'normal'. Isn't that some sort of oxymoron? I mean normal is defined as:
Adjective:
Conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.
Noun:
The usual, average, or typical state or condition.
So if you were normal before (not that any of us are really normal), you are supposed to become normal again but a different kind of normal that is now your new normal. Does this mean I have to consider myself abnormal before? How many times do you get to have a new normal? Am I now in my third normal since I had two cancer diagnoses?

Or is this a lot of hooey designed to make us feel better? Life is full of life changes - everything from moving, changing jobs, getting married, having children, icky (for the lack of a better word) medical diagnoses - that we change and cope. We are constantly evolving and adapting to the changes in our lives. Darwinism lives as we adapt to the bumps in the road of life. So where is this 'normal' they (and that would be the mysterious them) tell us we should have? Are we supposed to pick a point in our lives and say 'I was normal then'?

These life changing events are just what that says 'life changing' you can't go back and undo them. 9/11 changed the country and can never be undone just as cancer changes individuals. Is the goal of finding a new normal unattainable? When do you know you have reached your new normal? Is there a little sign in the road of life? I say skip this normal business and focus on adapting through changes.

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