Musings On The ‘New Normal’

Well my last post was on the 20th December so it’s about time the stranded boat was moved on into the shallows a little! Like many of you I’m waiting for my vaccine, which for some reason is delayed in my region for the over 50s. But the time will come, and I’ve sorted through any doubts I’ve had from alternative theories, which have been weaving like a spider’s web through social media sites, podcasts, and interviews – stretching far and wide across the globe, to cloud clear vision with warnings of the ‘dangers’ from the vaccine and of mass vaccination. It has spread so much confusion and conflict for many, but as for me, I’m ready for the jag (as they say here in Scotland after the prickly jaggy thistle), because we all have to pull together on this. So bring it on!

My life in the new normal has being composed of being stuck at the computer a good deal, learning new skills but not actually getting very far in my various endeavours. I have however had a good result from popping a range of watercolours and drawings on ebay as clearance, with prices to match, and I can’t tell you how satisfying it’s been to see some old friends go off to new homes. (If you fancy a look it’s here .Who thought someone would want my rather unusual subject of a shortened stem of Protea sugarbush flower on tinted cream paper?  So it’s been a pleasure packing these paintings up and taking them to the post office.

To counterbalance the technical stuff I’ve tackled our garden, tidying it up with lots of pruning so fresh new growth can push through to impress upon us the resilience of nature, and we can relish that good vibration of new beginnings now. That addictive feelings of forward momentum which we get from spring sunshine and blue skies, while the heat of the sun sinks into our bones. There are, as always, a few plant casualties due to some late frosts, so I’m thinking of what to replace them with, ever aware that gardens are always ebbing and flowing in a state of flux – another one of mother nature’s spiritual lessons for us take on board. I wrote a post a long while back now on how gardening is so good for the soul. You might like to take a look here if you missed it first time around, and it’s certainly even more relevant during both lockdown life and the new normal. 

As for relationships, my hubby and I have been pretty suited to lockdown life together, doing our own thing in different spaces, but being around for each other. But like many of us, I’ve not been able to visit my family across the border, and this feels really pressing now, as I’m sure it is for many. It’s like a winking electrical charging light which you’re watching from sideways on. You’re waiting for it to stop winking and stay on full, announcing to you  – NOW, you can GO DO! But of course it’s not like this at all. It’s a murky stuttering light varying according to the latest statistics, the latest projections from scientists and politicians, while holiday companies cheerfully advertise their offers for abroad, so book up now!, sending out the crazy message that by the summer we’ll all be vaccinated and be ready for the off, while for many of us just crossing the border would be enough. I’m really wishing the message could actually be – no holidays overseas until we know far more about the science of the virus and all its permutations. It’s so obvious, that it barely even needs posing.

 In any event, lockdown life here for me has been very much a fixed range of activities: working on the computer; mulling over the plot of my current WIP so I can continue writing it and do justice to what has been set up; exercising in the fields or short rides on my bike now the sun has been showing its face, painting; reading; crochet; shopping (boy, am I sick of Tescos and Asda), going for a weekly walk with my visually disabled friend, and of course chatting on whatsapp or zoom with a few friends. And even though the restrictions will be easing soon at the end of April, I can’t see my life changing that much in the foreseeable future, apart from relishing visiting my family regularly and helping my sister move into her new home. In fact, I wonder if lockdown life has made some of us more particular, more honest with ourselves perhaps, over how we actually want to live our lives. Covid times may well have encouraged us to reflect on what’s truly important to us, while the tragedies that have occurred bring these concerns into sharper focus. Because even though it feels like we’ve been standing still for a year, we’re all one year older, and that brings change in itself. It will be interesting what we do with our changes when we are allowed more freedom.

One feature of lockdown life has been, for many of us, more time spent on social media. More ‘friends’ to follow , more interest groups to join, more Youtube channels or podcasts to listen to, more free training workshops to sign up for, which can typically last for a couple of hours a day for four days or more – learn, learn, learn. Why wouldn’t you want to? It’s free! It’s been intense at times for me, because I have wanted to learn more with regard to both writing and painting, specifically related to marketing which isn’t my strong point to say the least. So I’ve been learning, absorbing, and sometimes finding it exhausting. But I was surprised to discover a friend of mine has been ‘suffering’ from the same kind of overload as me, with the same reactions. She reported feeling overwhelmed by all the information coming at her which she had encouraged, like me, to come her way. We agreed that you get stuck with having to go through it all. And then when you’re done, there is more. And then more. And you stare. And you despair. And then you have to select what to take notice of and what to dismiss and delete. But what if you delete that golden nugget of vital information, that transformational wonder which you could really work with – what then? 

You end up feeling like this:

Weary of it all, weary of your own compulsions. So time for being selective, I think! I’m going to bring that on too :>)

But I’ll end with some painting progressions  for something purely visual for you. The final painting from where I left off in the past post, entitled Mediterranean Calm, and a wee still life ‘Ceramic pot with Seedheads’.

Mediterranean Calm, three stages, including final, 50 by 50cm

Ceramic Pot With Seedheads, 20 by 20cm canvas

I’ve been missing my blogging and it’s been a pleasure to write this post. Do let me know how you are in your part of the world and if you have any learning curves or tips to share for living in the new normal. I’ll be hopping over to catch up with you in the next few days. Stay safe and well :>)

About lynnefisher

Writer and visual artist living in Scotland, INFJ type Writer's blog: lynnefisher.wordpress.com Art: lynnehenderson.co.uk Twitter @writeartblog Writers page Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lynnefisherheadtoheadhearttoheart/ Artists page Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lynnehendersonartist/
This entry was posted in On Life, On Painting, On social media, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Musings On The ‘New Normal’

  1. Ari says:

    I love the colours in your artwork, they are so calming.

    My partner and I are also suited to lockdown life being together all the time, though it would be nicer if the house was all finished rather than in random stages of repair. Sadly while I’d love to do gardening (it is definitely good for the soul) many of my hand tools are still packed away in storage like so many other things.

    Though we did manage to add some new bird feeders and they have been swarmed by fighting starlings or chittering sparrows 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynnefisher says:

      Thank you, Ari :>) You’ll get there with the house and garden in time and I’m sure it will be fantastic when finished. Still, I can understand your frustration. My sister is looking for a house to buy and has been on this ‘journey’ (cos it sure is one!) for months now. Twice, surveyors reports have put her off because of all the work that will need doing, and that’s because she had to do a lot of work on the one she eventually managed to sell! The market will open up soon, and she’ll have more choice, and maybe I’ll get to do a few viewings with her. As for me and hubby, there is no more to do here and sometimes I’m jealous of those who are making changes or repairs prior to the nice stages of decorating. Typical, eh?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ari says:

        I’m sorry to hear your sister has had to deal with so much trying to buy a house. Our survey managed to miss the woodworm issue despite the surveyor going into the attic!

        We finally had another done (after we had the house and found the woodworm) and found there is lintel issues too. It never ends, does it?

        I hope she finds her new home soon and one that will be easier to do up.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lynnefisher says:

        Thanks, Ari! Her search goes on. It is indeed a never ending job with homes. I know a retired builder who says there are always issues, but if the house feels right, go for it. It is worrying that your survey missed the woodworm though. Hopefully you’ll get it and the woodworm sorted. It sounds like you are in an old house, and I bet it has lots of character to make up for the problems. Cheers for now :>)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ari says:

        Yes, I definitely won’t be using that surveyors again. Thankfully we are getting the woodworm professionally treated at the start of May. Yes, it’s a pretty old house – think it was built in the 30s. Nice and solid (no paper thin walls here!) and we do love it, just needs a LOT of TLC 🙂

        Hope you have a nice weekend x

        Liked by 1 person

      • lynnefisher says:

        Sounds good! Have a lovely weekend yourself :>)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Libby Sommer says:

    Dear Lynne,

    I particularly like your thought that: “I wonder if lockdown life has made some of us more particular, more honest with ourselves perhaps, over how we actually want to live our lives. Covid times may well have encouraged us to reflect on what’s truly important to us, while the tragedies that have occurred bring these concerns into sharper focus.” Wise words. I agree totally. At least there is one positive to come out of this nightmare.

    I hope you get to hug your over-the-border-family again soon.

    Libby

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynnefisher says:

      Yes, there is a little positive in this respect! Even my hubby is talking about wanting a holiday which I know is a widespread commonplace wish for most, but for him it’s a real turnabout! I thought holidays with him were a thing of the past and I’d have to go solo or find a holiday buddie. Of course the latter could be part of my new journey anyway, but I’m still staggered by him saying this. Hope you are getting along fine there. Cheers, Libby :>)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. galenpearl says:

    I do love to see your paintings at various stages. So fascinating to see them take shape.

    I am sitting here on a sunny spring day — taking it very easy today as I just got my second shot (jab, jag) this morning. We’ll see how the rest of today and tomorrow unfold. But what a perfectly beautiful day to sit in the warm sunshine with a cup of tea and a good book. That’s my plan!

    I have enjoyed our Zoom visits, but I’m also glad to see a new post on your blog. I always enjoy your musings and reflections of life across the pond.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynnefisher says:

      Thank you, Galen :>) Yes, I’ve enjoyed the zoom chats and it did feel good to do a new post (even with the ‘new’ imposed block editor on wordpress!) There will be more and I’ll be interested to see what’s happening just now in blogland, catching up soon!

      Like

  4. carolee says:

    Have had both jabs and the requisite two weeks afterwards, but still wearing a mask, distancing, and fairly reluctant to “go” anywhere. It has been lovely to be able to actually, physically hug my mother after a year. I, too, wonder what the “new normal” will be. Writing? Well, that hasn’t happened much the past year. In fact, I found it VERY hard to concentrate enough for long enough to actually read a book, let alone write another one! And, I haven’t even touched a brush, so I applaud your talents and being able to continue to be creative throughout all this mess. However, my gardens have never looked better and I find myself content to just tend them and admire the beauty and calm…

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynnefisher says:

      Hi Carolee, oh, I’m looking forward to hugging my mum and sister when the time is right and after the vaccine will be doing the same as you. It’s funny isn’t it, you’d think given the staying at home situation that it would bring an allowed focus onto writing or painting, but it hasn’t worked out like that for me particularly either. I do know that I’m more productive when I leave the house for something like shopping, or when we were allowed, meeting someone for coffee, nd then returning home with the wish to get stuck in. So a disruption of this rhythm might be something to do with it. Hurrah for your garden and enjoying it!

      Like

  5. anne54 says:

    Lovely to hear from you Lynne, and know that all is well. Here in Melbourne we have been out of lockdown for a few months, and now have no community transition. However it is only recently that I have begun to do some of my normal things, like visiting a major exhibition in our big gallery. It seems to take time to move back into the world. I do appreciate the smaller things ~ a tram ride, sitting in a cafe to have a latte, being able to visit my Mum. (I am so sorry you can’t get to see your special ones over the border.) And I am happy to move at my own pace with these things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynnefisher says:

      Hello, Anne! I’ve been thinking about when the rules relax. Many of us are sure to be very wary and it will indeed take time for us to feel comfortable enough to return to activities we used to do. I was able to meet up with a lady for a walk and we began it by walking down the high street of her town, where people felt too numerous for me without any masks on. I grabbed mine and put it on, realising that this occasion was the first time I’d been out on streets that weren’t deserted. The sun had drawn more people out and it felt so weird! I’m looking forward to doing some of those simple things you’ve described -they will feel so special, but it will be quality over quantity for sure :>)

      Like

      • anne54 says:

        I have appreciated being able to take my own time about where and when to go further afield. It must be a very different feeling for those who have to go to work, teachers for example. No choice, or easing into it for them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lynnefisher says:

        Yes, it’s so different for those who have been working all the way through this and for those who have been working from home. My hubby has been happy working from home. There have been some stresses. The most recent one was trying to see if people he manages were able to go back with about two weeks notice. Well very few were ready practically and mentally, so now they are returning at the end of April instead. I know I’m one of the lucky ones. Next up for me is my hair, but I’m finding I’m not so bothered! Cheers, Anne

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Lynne! I, too, am waiting for my vaccination. What a mess it is here in the US! Demand exceeds supply, along with a mashup of sign-ups, alerts, emails, people who won’t follow the rules – yikes! On top of all that, way too many states and individuals are acting as though the danger is over and have relaxed the precautions put in place to protect us. I’ll be wearing a mask, social distancing, and limiting my exposure to crowds LONG after I get vaccinated, no matter how “safe” they say it is.

    I’m still working away on my MS–so close to finishing I can taste it! I’m eager to get it out there and move on to the next one. Haven’t decided yet what that will be and have so many possibilities it makes my head swim. I’m happy to have something productive to keep me busy during these awful days.

    As to marketing – the bane of every indie author’s existence! I understand your exhaustion trying to research and implement all the stuff the voices tell us we MUST HAVE to be successful. Bah! I can only do so much, and since there’s nothing to market without books, I am focused on writing. If I run across something that might be beneficial to my book business, I save the article and go right back to creating new material. If this be treason, make the most of it!

    My work situation has settled down somewhat, having been in flux since last July. Children and extended family have so far evaded Covid, for which I am very thankful. Except for the bumps in the road caused by my employment, life has been all right, if somewhat boring. I’m a homebody with no social life anyway, so having my options reduced has simply provided more time to write. I count that as a win!

    I hope your travel restrictions are removed soon so you can see family. I’m glad your creative juices are still flowing, and you have your husband to keep you company. Hang in there, my friend! There may be a return to something more like normal coming your way soon. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynnefisher says:

      Hi Alexander, thanks so much for the update. Yes, people are losing patience with the social distancing etc, but I can’t see an end to having to do it for some years yet. Like you, I’ll be doing the mask and distancing irregardless of the vaccine (which is what doctors are telling us) and I’ll certainly be avoiding busy places, but I’m pretty sure there will be widespread weariness with it all very soon now and of course that will lead to further dangers. It does sound like there are very mixed rulings over there where you are, but we’ve done a pretty bad job over here anyway and the powers that be need to be firmer about travel bans – holidays abroad I’m thinking of more specifically. People want their sun, sand, and sea at any cost it would seem!

      Great progress with your writing. God yes, it helps so much having it to focus on. I suppose us creative ones are so lucky to be driven by our passion so we can escape for hours at a time into a ‘better place’. At the start of the virus I remember us wondering – do we include it in our portrayal of reality in our fiction or not? Well, in my WIP, I’ve mentioned it as a thing in the past, so my GP character refers to his surgery being quiet around Christmas time with the exception of flu and covid jabs in November. But my characters aren’t all wearing masks and are just going about their lives as normal with no mention of it. I think this works quite well. Got to get on with the writing though!!

      Marketing – oh yes, a black hole really. Frustrating, unrewarding etc etc. Yes, more writing more books is the answer, while picking up info and filing it for when it will come in handy. And there’s my art too. Trying to finish a website to encourage sales but getting stuck with the buying functioning. Hubby and me were close to tearing our hair out yesterday! I need a site I can manage for myself, not giving up yet though!

      Yes, it does feel quite repetitive here too, day by day. Socialising in coffee shops (my introverted preference) is not as important to me as it was previously and my time has been well filled and will continue to be. I’m glad your work wobbles have smoothed out and you and yours are well. This whole pandemic helps us focus on what is really important in our lives. Family is high up there. I do get to hear about the dramas with mine, so I’m in touch that way! Cheers for now, Alexander :>)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m doing all right, though I’m still not progressing on the sequel to Mystical Greenwood as much as I’d like.

    Liked by 1 person

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