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  • Writer's pictureChantal

Navigating New Normal


Back to school

Back to work

Back to normal?

A fresh start

New routines


Warm fall days

Cold fall days

A farewell to the summer

A welcome to winter

Moving indoors




Chantal Plowman

September is normally associated with the official beginning of fall. It is also the beginning of school. It's the beginning of many sports. It's filled with arranging timetables, tryouts and getting into routines to serve us for the rest of the school year. Sometimes September feels more like a beginning than January. It is filled with potential and possibility.

This September brings with it many of the same qualities of Septembers from the past, but it also brings something new. This September is the first time many students will enter their schools since leaving them in March. And many people will be returning to their offices for the first time since March as well. There is an excitement in the air with this return to normal routine. But the new thing this September brings is uncertainty. There is always a certain amount of uncertainty at any time in life, but this is different. Every school and office and community and sporting organization is making up policies and plans as they go. Everyone is trying to minimize the risk of the coronavirus spreading while we return to a life where we have to gather in larger groups. How will it work? No one knows for sure. It is an experiment. And like all experiments, we won't know the results for sure until we try it. If we like the results, we can fine tune things until they are optimal. If we don't like the results, we might have to be prepared to design many more new experiments until we get some results that work for us.

So how can we prepare ourselves for this new type of September? How do we need to be to get the results we want from the experiment? Some of the ways I think we need to be includes being flexible. We have to be able to change direction quickly if necessary. We have to be open to new ways of doing things. We have to be patient with changes. We have to be innovative and come up with solutions to the new challenges facing us. We might even need to be less attached to our old ways of doing things.

So my question for this September is, What will you do to assist yourself in navigating this new September? When I posed this question to myself the first thing that came to my mind was this well known poem about friendship;

Make new friends, but keep the old

Those are silver, these are gold...

Joseph Parry

To me this poem is saying to appreciate and make room for the 'new' while still honouring and loving the 'old'. So I want to be open to the new way of doing things. And I want to do whatever I can to preserve what is important to me about the old way I did things before.

So to apply that to something concrete, one thing I am doing to assist myself in navigating September is to create a new routine that will serve me in meeting my goals. Creating a new routine is one thing I have always liked about September. After being out of routine with summer holidays, it feels healthy and productive to get back into a good routine. So that is the 'old' thing that I treasure and want to preserve. The 'new' thing is that I am going to have to be willing to make this a dynamic routine, meaning that it can change. It sounds like an oxymoron - 'a dynamic routine', but I think it can work. I will set my routine, but I will be flexible if things need to change. And I will be creative in designing a new routine if necessary. I will bring that quality of experimentation into my routine. I will make changes based on the results I get and the change in conditions. I am excited to design my new September routine from this experimentation perspective.

How about you? What will you do to make this September a success for yourself. Please share any plans or ideas you have in the comments below, in our Weekly ONE Thing Facebook Group or on Facebook or any other social media.Your ideas can inspire other people. I look forward to reading your posts!

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