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)

2017 Reset Button

Today’s guest post is our first re:create recess of 2017! Last week’s post spelled out what we’re doing here, once a week, on the blog, but here’s a quick reminder: we’re thinking about create with a healthy dose of play and how both can lead to transformation. My friend Cole oozes playful creativity in her fantastic fashion sense and you should be so lucky to see her gorgeous home and courageous use of bold wallpaper… She originally said no to guest posting because mama to three littles is more than enough; but then she shared this tidbit of creative wisdom with our women’s group and so, here we are. I’ve already tucked one monthly card, and now another, into my gratitude journal. Join us in this creative and intentional pursuit?

re:create recess #1: Colecp-meme

If you’re like me, you might need to hit the reset button in 2017. I came into this ‘new’ year harried, beaten down, uninspired, and exhausted, with no gumption to set resolutions, create goals, start a new habit, get organized, become more fit, or get closer to a “new me in 2017.”

It felt like I was just trying to survive. The only goal I had was to sleep! To stay within the confines of my fluffy down comforter and sleep while someone else cleaned, cooked, watched the kids, put away the Christmas decorations, wrote the holiday thank you cards, etc… But one night as I surfed the web in the wee hours, I think I had a “Holy Spirit intervention” because I stumbled upon Ann Voskamp’s blog and her version of making new year’s resolutions. She calls it reSOULutions – a Year of Living on Purpose.

I like Ann’s simple, manageable approach to being intentional about making changes without the anxiety and overwhelm of the traditional approach to setting resolutions. I found myself peeking out from under my comforter with renewed hope excited to get creative and follow Ann’s easy steps to living on purpose.

Ann offers a list of 12 verbs for the new year, one for each month…Embrace, Believe, Do, Learn, Grow, etc., and invites us to add the nouns or intention pertaining to that word. The words are written on a beautifully illustrated printout.

Here is my example. I added my own words and chose to color in the flowers to inspire myself to look at it often (Ann even invites us to frame it!). I’m going to tuck mine inside my devotional, a good reminder of things I want to work on and become better at.cpresoulutions

Ann also created these beautiful monthly cards with the word for each month written on them where you can write your intention and your prayer for how God can lead you in this endeavor. You can cut up the cards and tuck them inside your Bible or devotional along with the other sheet to refer to them often as well….

What kind of year have you had or do you want to have? What are you afraid of or excited about? If you’re struggling to pick up your feet, your head, your eyes or your heart, this might be a small discipline you can do with the Holy Spirit’s help. Maybe, just maybe, amidst the shifting, the changing, the chaos, and the beauty of your day, you will take a moment to remember and breathe and do what the card says…it’s a small, easy way of connecting with God while pursuing stability in an uneasy world. Live on purpose while living out your purpose and your soul will thank you.



Cole has been married to Shane for eight years. She is mama to three children, Ruby, Marlowe, and Hyde. She requires a steady diet of faith and fancy with a little mischief here and there for good measure. She strives every day to be more like Jesus and to remember that she is enough, despite her imperfections.

Still Writing

Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative LifeStill Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life by Dani Shapiro

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Writers process life through the persistent act of writing. So reading writers on writing is tantamount to reading about intentional living. Intentional because writers, like the rest of us, have to create rhythms of life in order to fulfill their commitment to their craft.

Shapiro’s book comes in three true-to-life parts – beginnings, middles, and ends.

Some quotes:

“We show up—for life, for writing. We act like brave people, even when we don’t feel like brave people.”

“And so we must ask ourselves: Are we feeling with our minds? Thinking with our hearts? Making every empathic leap we can? Are we witnesses to the world around us? Are we climbing on the shoulders of those who paved the way for us? Are we using every last bit of ourselves, living these lives of ours, spending it, spending it all, every single day?”

“The mess is holy. What we inherit – and how we come to understand what we inherit – is all we have to work with. There is beauty in what is.”

“We – none of us – are ever clichés. We are the sum total of our stories.”

“But I’ve come to believe that normal is overrated – for artists, for everyone.”

And for those who write – or create anything of any kind – the last page is a terrific rant on the creative life. But – I say this for those, like me, who read the last page first – this is a last page you really want to save for the end.