FOON: Fear of the Old Normal

Do you have FOON? I might.

About a month ago, just as I was two weeks post-vaccination and the CDC guidelines changed again, I began to see articles about another phase of pandemic-related anxiety. One of the articles mentioned FOON: Fear of the Old Normal.

I leaned in hard to my introverted homebody-ness this year. No morning rush, no fretting over what to wear, fewer decisions overall… Life has been simpler. Also complicated but, you understand, some of these trade-offs have been positive:

Hectic morning hurry for additional sleep
Traffic for tennis shoes
Structure for flexibility
Noise – cars zipping by, school bells ringing – for bird song
Small talk with strangers for solitude and silence
Mostly anonymous crowds for neighbors sharing Friday 6 feet at 6pm cocktail hour
Busy-ness for togetherness
Going through the motions for reevaluating how we truly want to live

Reevaluation is the key. I’m not afraid, but I reject the Old Normal as a healthy way forward.

Of course I want to see friends, especially now that we can hug. And I recognize that going back to in-person school and work next fall will necessarily add back in some of the hustle that I haven’t missed. Not at all.

Still, I plan to be more intentional about my decisions. I expect to say no where once I might have said yes. I will prioritize slow over fast, small over large. At-home cozy comfort will continue to be my daily deal.

We lived the Old Normal because it was what we knew. Now we’ve experienced something different which gives us the opportunity to make different choices.

How do you feel about this transition? What different choices do you anticipate making?

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(Images from Pixabay)

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