The New Normal

I went to a Leadership Series discussion the other day with about 70 other women. It was hosted by a local nonprofit women’s organization, and the topic was “The New Normal.” Since I also work for a nonprofit organization that specializes in services for women, I thought it would be a good event to go to.

The subject of the discussion seemed a bit odd to me, mainly because of the word “normal.” It’s one of those words that makes me uncomfortable.

I mean, who determines what normal is anyway? And if there’s a new one, what happened to the old one?

Dictionary.com defines the word normal as “conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.” However, if you go by this definition, it’s completely subjective. In my world, for example, being gay is normal, though there are many (too many) people out there who would disagree.

The discussion was interesting. There was talk about the state of the economy, the influence that technology has had on our lives, even terrorism.

In a world where we broadcast our lives on blogs and Facebook, people are struggling to keep or find jobs, and we can’t travel without worrying about bed bugs or terrorist attacks, here’s what I think the “new normal” is:

  • Being true to yourself, no matter what
  • Being self-aware (and aware, in general)
  • Saying no (or yes), even if it feels scary or others look at you differently
  • Figuring out what is important in your life and going with it
  • Simplifying
  • Looking at the glass as being full, even if others tell you it’s running on empty
  • Leading by example
  • Giving back
  • Teaching our kids tolerance and empowering them to make a positive social impact in the future

What’s your normal?

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