Posted in Mental Health, Psychology, Self Help

Getting Back to “Normal”

Is there such a thing as “normal“?

I know that my dryer in the basement has a “normal” setting.

We say a temperature is “normal” when it is around 98.7 degrees.

Yet, do we really have “normal” as an indication of “how things are going” when it comes to life?

I think we have “routine”, “similar” or “familiar” but not NORMAL!

So why do we use “normal“? I think it is because we have things we say that we say when we need to say something that really don’t say what it is we are saying.

Let’s say that three weeks ago I had open heart surgery.

Which I DID by the way.

Amazing stuff. To think that three weeks ago, a mere twenty-one days, I had a major surgery that took over seven hours and during which the doctors stopped my heart. Then restarted it. Again, amazing.

And now, today, this week, I am getting back to the “routine” and “familiar” of my life. I am returning to my health club and starting to once again “work out.” I am cooking. I am writing this blog. I am starting to work on my counseling and consulting schedules which are set to “resume” in two weeks.

“Rest” and “Recuperate” is what people and my medical team suggested for six weeks post the surgery. We are about half way. And, albeit “new to me”, I am actually following instructions. While I am “doing all of those ‘familiar’ and ‘routine’ things” I am monitoring my physical and psychological health and focusing on recovery. With each “routine” that comes back online and creates a “familiar” pattern and sequence to my day I am making sure that I have the physical and cognitive endurance and strength to engage in those activities as I once did.

I am happy to report that for the most part, the recovery is going well and thus a return to routine and familiar is also going smoothly.

This week I am returning to blogging and working on the development of media for my various channels while starting to construct a schedule for returning to counseling and consulting in early March.

Recovery is about small, consistent steps that create a routine. Sometimes our routine is new compared to the routine we once had before recovery commenced. And that makes sense since healing generates growth and “newness” in terms of activities and connections. So as we heal we grow. As we grow our “normal” is modified by new connections and activities which in turn generate new routines. Because there are just enough “similar” activities and connections from our lives before healing and recovery start a new routine can feel familiar. This familiarity is comforting as we heal, grow, make new connections, and engage in new activities.

I am finding this to be true.

As I engage in new connections and activities due to my cardiac surgery and recovery, I am also engaging with “old” connections and routines which offer some familiarity. This familiarity offers enough stability and comfort for the new connections and activities to grow into my new routines and foster authentic and genuine health.


Counselor, Satirist, Podcaster, Author, Professor, Speaker, Father and Husband

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