Monday, 28 July 2014

What is normal?

After my last post Shirley wrote in a comment, "What is normal?"
Shirley writes at

Shirley is a lovely person as I am sure you will realise after you read a few of her posts. She lives in a country town in the USA and I think she was one of ten children. She met and married her sweetheart and they continued to live in the same area. They raised a family and now there are some grandchildren. Shirley loves her husband but they must live apart because he is not well enough to live at home. Heartbreak. The nursing home is not quite as good as Shirley would like and much time and effort is spent in attempting to improve hubby's level of care. It must be exhausting driving for hours almost every day to do this. The grandsons also take a lot of time and attention, although this is always a pleasure. I thoroughly enjoy reading about those boys. Shirley does hand embroidery for clients and sells some in an Etsy shop. Until recently she also worked at a sawmill.
So Shirley's life is busy, loving, careful, and not what she imagined it might be.

What is normal for me? What is normal for Shirley? What is normal for you?

No, I do not remember where this originated.
If it is your work then I am happy to acknowledge it.
For me normal is being in my own home and among the objects that carry memories. Normal is fussing over my cat who wants to eat at all hours but must stick to her diet. Normal is eating home prepared meals because I do not like salt added to my food. Normal is wishing I was gorgeous but not putting quite enough effort into fighting the signs of aging and lifestyle. Normal is fiddling about on my computer, studying, tutoring, and staying in touch with people I care about. Normal is hearing my husband snore vigorously as I try to go to sleep. Normal is realising that I am very lucky to live here where I can look out and see a beautiful tropical harbour and interesting ships going about their work. Normal for me is rarely getting everything finished and then regretting my poor time management. Normal is sometimes spending time feeling sorry for myself, and later feeling ashamed because I know many people have hugely more difficult things to deal with.

My life has returned to normal after a truly wonderful holiday. Yes, there are bills and expenses because I have made mistakes with my computer. Aaargh!!! Yes, it is up to me to make things happen here. Yes, my studies are a bit too hard. Yes, the cat comes to talk to me if I sit on the toilet! Yes, the meals are a bit ordinary at our place and I like it like that. Yes, all these factors combine to prove I am alive and not a character in a novel or film.
Perhaps I do not know another word for normal.

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