what's your normal now? collage

What’s your normal now?

what's your normal now? collage
So, how are you doing? What’s your normal now?

It really hasn’t been that long since I was last here, but it’s a whole new world. And not the kind Aladdin and Jasmine sang about. More like the “turned upside down” one referenced in Hamilton.

Are you sticking close to home…and do you really have much choice in the matter?

(And has your favorite store run out of toilet paper?)

The entire state of California is under a “Stay at Home” order, with additional restrictions in metro areas like Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s OK to go outdoors as long as we’re not in groups—social distancing of 6 feet to be maintained at all times!–and we’re tending to “essential” needs and activities (like walking the dog). We can’t eat in restaurants, but we can order delivery or takeout. or eat in our cars at the drive-thru. We can go out grocery shopping, but we’ll find some shelves are stripped clean and certain items are limited (so they won’t be stripped too).

covid19 & climate change earth has had enough
Are you working from home? Are you working at all? And either way, how are you making it work?

Both my husband and I work in healthcare-adjacent industries—social services for me, insurance for him—so our jobs are ongoing, but we’re sharing office space in our house now. He’s on full work-from-home status right now, and I’m going into the office one day a week. (This could all change any day, of course.). I will have my first Skype and Zoom meetings this week. I set up a group text for my team.  I’ve realized that I really don’t like audio conference calls (which now happen daily).

I have been reading a lot of news and information—maybe more than I should be?—but am not making a lot of headway with books.  Since the entire region is under “work remotely if you can” rules, the commute when I do have to go into the office is…well, almost pleasant. But since it’s faster and less frequent, it’s cut my audiobook time down.

currently reading march 22 2020
How are you spending your days in this weird new world?

I really do want to know what your “normal” looks and feels like right now. I’ll be asking that question on social media too, so if you don’t answer it here I hope we’ll talk somewhere else! In the meantime, here are a few thoughts for the new normal:

8 Ways to Stay Calm and Sane While You Hunker Down at Home

4 Ways to Help Prevent Loneliness While You’re Social Distancing

Ways You Can Help During the Coronavirus Crisis

Going to The Calm Place…

…where you’re not stockpiling books (WHAT???)

Take care of you and yours, friends. And tell me how you’re doing.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,318 other subscribers


  1. We’ve closed our business and are staying at home. So far, we’ve had no problems filling our days but, if this goes on too long, I’m sure we’ll get cabin fever. We are getting out every day to walk but have ordered anything we need and had it delivered.

    1. I was thinking about your store and figured you’d had to close it–sorry that had to happen! These may be pretty good times for businesses that offer delivery, though…and surprising opportunities for customer service.

      My husband can’t get a self-service drink at 7-Eleven now–a clerk has to get the cup and operate the fountain. It’s all driven by safety concerns, of course, but it’s definitely a different approach.

  2. My parents, daughter, and I are all home now and I am the one who goes out to do all the public facing things since my parents are elderly and my mom has a lung disease. I am working from home and my daughter started up with her college courses on line today. I think we’re in this for the long haul.

    1. I think we are too, although I get the feeling that’s not yet as fully accepted as it needs to be.

      Today was my dad’s 91st birthday and he had to spend it pretty much shut in. He’s in decent shape for his age and very sociable, but all the things he normally does–lunch at the senior center, church groups, chatting with neighbors over coffee–are closed off to him right now. Hopefully he’ll get them back…but I worry. So far no one I know is sick, but odds are that won’t last–and the odds may not be in his favor.

  3. I am working from home as the university has moved to online learning.
    My daughter’s high school is pretty much done for the year. Will be online through May.
    My husband is still working but he works alone in a warehouse so he is okay doing so.
    We’ve been enjoying a mixture of takeout and cooked at home meals. Trying to balance it out so we don’t go through all of our food at once. I am worried that soon we won’t be able to do takeout either.

    This is definitely a strange time. I can’t really read all that much. Too distracted. My dog is happy to have most of us home. My son is still at college. He wasn’t able to come back and now that his classes are online for all of next quarter, he could technically move back home because he lost both of his campus jobs but he wants to stay. He is trying to get work again.

    1. I keep thinking that about takeout too–I’m concerned about the workers. A lot of restaurants just don’t seem to have enough room for all those people behind the counter. But my neighborhood Starbucks drive-thru is still open, so there’s that.

      I’m not sure my dog is enjoying having us around all day or not. Fortunately, his daycare is open so he can still go there twice a week and get a break from us.

      I hope your son can get things sorted out at school. This is an especially weird time for students, I think.

  4. I am mostly working from home although will have a couple of days in the office this week. My husband is 100% working from home.

    We had a conversation last night about making sure that we still support the local businesses around us.

  5. I worked from home full time before this; so my normal work has not changed. My daughter is home as there is no school and I’ve tried to keep her on track with what she’s learned at school to keep her from losing her information. That’s pretty much my main issue.

    We go out only for my parent’s meds and food at the grocery. And yes, there is no TP to be had. DUMB.

  6. Somehow I missed this post but as I am making a conscious effort this morning to check in with the blogs and bloggers I “follow,” whether at their blog or other social media, I am glad I came across this. The library where I work closed on March 15 and is closed until at least April 6 (here in Pennsylvania, along with the schools). So far, no cases in our rural county — at least, as of last night. Most days, I’ve been trying to read books, but only being successful with the short stories of Sherlock Holmes, about one or two a day, and trying to avoid the news as much as possible, faring better on that as the days go or at least not getting “stuck in a loop.” Thanks for all the links and while I can’t promise I’ll look at them right away, I’m definitely bookmarking them in Pocket. Thanks for all you and Paul do during this time and other times too. 🙂

  7. I’m still trying to find my new normal since it seems like things change daily. Thursday I started working from home and that’s going to take some adjusting to, especially as I’m trying to learn a new job this way. But I feel safer here and right now that’s the most important thing. Stay safe!