Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Fluid Concept

Normal: noun
the usual, average, or typical state or condition Normaladjectiveconforming to a standardusualtypicalor expected According to my dictionary app:Most people want to be regarded as normal, an adjective that implies conformity with established norms or standards and is the opposite of abnormal (a normal body temperature; normal intelligence).Regular, like normal, is usually preferred to its opposite (irregular) and implies conformity to prescribed standards or established patterns (their regular monthly meeting; a regular guy), but normal carries stronger connotations of conformity within prescribed limits and sometimes allows for a wider range of differences.
photo credit: here

What do you think?  Do you buy into this definition?  Do you think normal is such a rigid concept.  I'm not sure I do.  Here is why:  This is a definition of all the normalness in my life.


Normal is looking up at the endless blue sky of Texas and missing the gray skies of England.

Normal is cuddling up to my husband at night as I fall asleep, dreaming as I breathe in the essence of him.  Normal is cuddling up to a pillow dressed up in his cologne-scented Venom tee.

Normal is choosing not to waste money on dessert when out to dinner with the whole family and then having no choice about needing it to fill the hole in my center with chocolate when he is missing from our whole.

Normal is drifting off to the background symphony that is Metal Gear Solid around 9 pm one week and the next finding myself still uncomfortably awake in the painful silence at 3 A.M.

Normal is thanking God for my husband when he rescues me from a tantrumming toddler and cursing the Universe for the birth of every male when my husband lets me down, even if it is by no fault of his own making.

Normal is crying, yearning to feel his tender arms around me after 8 months without them and normal is crying because I need space after a few months of their constant presence.

Normal is praying for sunshine in the winter.  Normal is praying for clouds and rain in the scorching summer.  Normal is hiding my head under my pillow every morning not really caring about the weather.  Normal is waking up next to the man I love... and singing.

Normal is happy, healthy, emotionally balanced children; children confident in who they are and in their parents’ love. Normal is children that are emotional wrecks and crack at the smallest things, children that cry at night because dad is gone.

Normal is a tidy house, a balanced checkbook.  Normal is utter chaos, overflowing garbage cans, mounds of dirty laundry and no food in the house.

Normal is taking pride in serving our country, willingly sacrificing for the greater good of all and at the same time hating the establishment and damning the man for all unnecessary, senseless sacrifices.

Normal is the comfort of security and stability.  Normal is the anxiety of the unknown, uncertain future.

Normal is consistency.  Normal is ever changing madness.

    My life is perfectly normal.

Of course, this is my description of what is normal as a military family, what's normal for me to experience.  I think it is a universal mindset though to have this idea of how things should be, this expectation that makes our lives sometime seem abnormal or even substandard.  Sometimes, we say 'but it's not supposed to be like this' and we sell our experiences short of their true beauty.  We long to be normal.  To live a normal life.  The thing is, normal is a much more fluid concept.  It is often situational.  And it can seldom if ever (aka never) be compared to someone else's experiences.

photo credit: here

Maybe it's like this rainbow cutting across the sky, dividing it in two distinct halves, one dark and the other light.  We might look at that and exclaim 'would you have ever imagined such a thing' or 'it's so unreal' or we might even find it unsettling in it's abnormalness, might question what it means.  But I think a lot of us would find it's unique nature, it's simultaneous capturing of light and dark, beautiful and inspiring--I doubt many people would see this and say 'freakin' rainbow, that's not what a rainbow is supposed to look like' or 'Tell me when it's gone, it's offending my retinas' or 'I really hope I never see anything like that again'.  Our life experiences are much the same: unimaginable, surreal, unsettling, but beautiful, certainly not warranting our animosity, shame or disgust.  If only we will allow ourselves to stop longing for what 'should be' and learn to except 'what is', then maybe we can see the exquisite nature of our own existence and revel in all the glorious abnormalness.  

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