Category Archives: attitude

ADHD or Autistic

Isn’t it strange that every little kid in elementary school is on drugs to BECOME autistic? No, the teachers don’t want to teach autistic kids. That would be really hard! But if the 5-year-old can’t sit at his desk and quietly do his school work for 6 hours a day, he needs drugs. If your kid is daydreaming, we need to get him on drugs. If he’s laser-focused and suddenly starts rocking back and forth and jumps when someone touches him, he needs drugs.

All the genius detectives out there are slightly autistic or OCD or Sociopaths. If there are as many genius villains out there, YOU WILL NEVER CATCH THEM! They’re all smarter than you are! And yet…since we don’t want ADHD kids or Autistic kids in school, we try to drug the ADHD kids to focus more and the Autistic kids to focus less. They’re the anomalies. But remember how I once said that there is no normal? Where do you draw the line? Well, in the Normal Curve, 68.27% of people should be considered normal, about 14% are above normal and below normal, and the tiniest sliver (2%) are genius-level and way below normal. Kids are expected to act autistic and not be autistic, and Autistic kids have to learn to act ADHD to keep from being ostracized by “normal” people.

According to APA (American Psychiatric Association) the number of kids who are ADHD is in the 5% range, but the CDC puts it at 11%. The number of geniuses is about 1-2%, but they don’t know for sure because geniuses are ostracized and bullied and ignored by teachers because nobody knows what to do with them. There should be about 6 million geniuses in the US. How many do we know about?

I have had to work with a variety of students…from painfully shy and withdrawn to bouncing off the walls, from IQs of 60 to IQs of 140, from painfully dull to technicolor imaginations. Everyone learns differently, and yet, I haven’t run into a single person that couldn’t be taught.

I’m teaching 2 brothers. One is 8 and has been taking lessons for 4 years, and his little brother is almost 5 and just starting. The older one has a laser focus but only for a short time. But he didn’t use to be able to finish a song during his lessons. He would stop in the middle and ask me if all the planets were round. He’d stop on the next to the last note of the song and have to tell me what he learned in his history lesson. He plays Beethoven now. The younger one believes that any note that he plays with his thumb is a C. Each note in his book has a weird-looking alien that represents it. The green alien is C, the Blue is B, the Red is F. He remembers all their names but not the names of the notes on the page. He doesn’t focus on position, he focuses on color and facial expressions. Do I teach him using the alien method? No, but he will remember the aliens long after I’ve finished teaching him in 20 years. He will learn auditorially faster than visually. His ability to focus will get better and he will be able to focus for longer periods of time.

I have another student that will sit down to practice 15 min every day, and find that 2 hours have gone by. He’s always surprised that he’s lost time. See? I am glad I have these students on a one on one basis rather than sitting like little dolls on boxes. We don’t want to teach them to be JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER LITTLE KID. Because there is no “normal” type of behavior. We don’t want them medicated to act like “normal” kids because that is impossible. Enjoy them just the way they are. Why? Because that kid you bully may be the next serial killer, and he’s coming after you first.

What do we do now?

How do we go back to being civil with people?

How can we bounce back after such a crisis?

Down the road, will anything we accomplish during this quarantine be significant?

How do you handle the fear?

How do you face this new tomorrow? Where will your energy come from?

Spotlight books

Funny you should ask.

The books we’ve written are rather diverse and so are our authors. There are between nine and 13 of us at any one time. The youngest is 28, the oldest in the 70s. We are housewives, social workers, grandmas, grandpas, single, married, PHDs, Bachelor’s degrees, Black, White, Brown…You get the idea? We shouldn’t even be friends, but here we are writing books together.  Why? Because we all have these same challenges but a huge number of perspectives. Am I fearful because of uncertainty in the leadership and unforeseen circumstances over which I have no control? No, but one of the other authors is. Am I finding it hard to get off my couch after all this turmoil? Yes. But not everyone has that perspective.

  • What will it take for you to get to a point where you don’t feel stressed?
  • What would you read to get your head straight on your circumstances?
  • Where would you look for direction?

Can you identify with at least one of the authors of the books? Probably. If you could figure out how someone like you not only survived but thrived during these interesting times, wouldn’t you at least be curious?

The books are available at the Book Worm in Omaha (the same place Warren Buffett shops) and Amazon.

Spotlight on the Art of:

  • Grace
  • Resilience
  • Significance
  • Fear
  • Generating Energy

I confess: I looked into my crystal ball and KNEW 2 years ago that we’d be in a situation like we now face. Every one of those books has a nugget or 12 of insight that will help you cope.

You can see us at Alternative Book Club

Is it just me?

Monk, Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Reid, Dr. Brennan. All crime show detectives. All brilliant.

Penelope Garcia, Abby Sciuto, Felicity Smoak, Skye. All FEMALE Computer hackers. All brilliant.

Now. Find something normal about them.

Do you see? You cannot be brilliant and have a normal social life. You cannot be brilliant and not be a bit autistic or OCD or borderline Schizophrenic. All these common traits in brilliant people on TV and in Movies are exaggerated in order to make normal people feel better about themselves? Whatever for?

Why are we still doing Mad Scientists?

Why can’t brilliant people be charming and suave and debonaire? Why can’t child prodigies have a normal social life?

Ever since Mary Shelly wrote Frankenstein’s Monster, the mad scientist has been codified.

  • Every brilliant person is quirky
  • No brilliant person can make friends
  • No brilliant person ever works as hard as the rest of us
  • Every brilliant person is a braggart
  • Every brilliant person has a huge vocabulary and no emotions
  • Every brilliant person is socially awkward
  • Every brilliant person knows they’re the smartest person in the room
  • Every brilliant person listens to nothing but classical music

They are emotionally immature. They are not empathetic. They prefer to be alone.

Now add to that the fact that smart people are mistrusted, avoided, and ridiculed for their entire time in school. Then, to make things worse, the abuse doesn’t stop after school. They are called names, and patronized, and categorized as “other-than-normal”.

I understand why you’re more likely to find an EVIL genius than an ANGELIC genius. The tree in Eden was called the Tree of Knowledge…but it was the knowledge of good and evil and people never add that last part. Wouldn’t you, if you had been treated as an anomaly, as a freak, as some sort of alien all your life, want some sweet revenge? Use technology beyond mortal understanding! Be the master of the ultra-long con! And yet the evil geniuses that became serial killers preyed on women and girls mostly. They didn’t take over the world, did they?

Who did? CEOs, Judges, Senators (?!), Members of the House of Representatives, and the rich (read billionaires, not millionaires). The extremely smart represent 1% of the population. If the population was evenly represented, 1% of the homeless would be extremely smart, 1% of the blue-collar workers, 1% of the athletes…you see? But this is not the case. If it were, then 1% of the CEOs would be at the 130-140 level and that is a shocking 38% instead. 1% of billionaires would be brilliant, and yet 45% of them are. The Senate has 41% brilliant members, and the House–20%. How can this be? They don’t fit into the category of geniuses and brilliant people. Those types are supposed to be geeky, autistic, OCD, quirky people. How could they make friends? How could they possibly get elected? Shouldn’t the people in power be the alpha dogs? The emotionally intelligent, type A personalities with tons of charisma and 1000s of FaceBook friends? They’re not.

I was always told that “A” students work for “C” students. Not in 38% of the cases… If the brightest people only make up 1% of the population, why are there 38 times more CEOs in the 1% than there are supposed to be? We’d have to do some regression analysis, but I’d say that there’s a significant correlation between intelligence and the CEO position. It’s the same for Judges. I challenge you to find a judge or a CEO that acts like Sherlock or Monk or Reid or Brennan. 

Quit putting brilliant people into the “weird” box. Quit assuming that brilliant people have no social skills. Quit bullying them because you know what? When your case comes up in front of THAT judge, you’re going to go down. If you want the best lawyer, you’d better remember if he’s the one you stole lunch money from. When you’re having that heart attack, remember how you treated your surgeon in 6th grade. Remember that Senator or Representative you made fun of in high school may not actually represent YOU. That dorky kid in the business class may become your boss in 10 years. That computer geek may be running your portfolio for your retirement.

The rest of us? The ones with IQs of 95-105? You’re more likely to find a serial killer in the 85-95 range than one in the upper levels, although they do happen. Less than 1% of the serial killers are above 130. So if you make fun of the slow guy in the class, you may find yourself in a dark alley with Tim Curry holding a garrote.

Prince of Darkness (Criminal Minds) | Villains Wiki | Fandom

Just how Tough are you?

I was reminded that I’m a tough old bird. Toughness is not easily achieved. Your hands callous when they’re used daily on hard physical labor. Picture the hands of a farmer, or a gymnast, or bricklayer. The skin gets tough to the point of nerve damage. The toughness protects the rest of the hand from damage–the muscles, the nerves that provide the ability to open and close the hand, the bones. It is constant or nearly constant friction that callouses up a hand.

The toughness when it comes to pain tolerance is gained the same way. I had congenital hip dysplasia. That’s when you have shallow or missing hip sockets. When I was about 2, I had a manipulation where the top of my femur was put into position in order to carve out a hip socket. I spent months in a cast and moved on to braces. Then for my elementary school years, I had to wear orthopedic shoes. Oh, LORD were they ugly. I didn’t get my first pair of tennis shoes (that’s what we called them) until I was 6th grade. I took ballet so that my feet and legs would get stronger. My hips didn’t work like the other kids’.  I could never sit cross-legged. It was most uncomfortable and I had a devil of a time trying to maintain an upright position. About the time I was 12, my hips started to hurt. By the time I was 39, it felt like ground glass…every step.

In 1989, I opened a dance studio and was dancing about 3-5 hours a day on this ground glass. But with the range of motion exercises, the lubrication of the joint allowed me to still use it. I swear, I would have been in a wheelchair if I hadn’t had the ballet. I had my hip replaced in 1993 and that operation reduced the range of motion for my hip. I was restricted to 90-degree bend in the hip, and the rotation was minimal. This kept me from teaching dance. So I closed my studio. I needed work, so I started in fast food. The pain I felt from changing weather now changed its locus to mid-thigh where the spike ended. But it no longer felt like broken glass!!!  YAY!

I have now had 3 operations on my hip. The pain will be with me forever, and I will always limp. It acts as a barometer, so if the sky is green, and the wind is from the south, and the back door buzzes on a G, no problem. But if in addition, my leg feels like someone has taken a ball-peen hammer to my thigh, head to the basement! I now have a high tolerance for pain. It means that I’ve developed a callous on my pain threshold. I have taught myself to ignore the pain. Just like I’ve taught myself to ignore the ringing in my ears. 7 years on a headset. I went from “Hi! Welcome to Wendy’s! What combo can I get for you today?” to “Hello, Ameritrade, This is Rebecca. What trades can I place for you today?” It took every ounce of self-control (and I don’t have a lot of it) not to add, “You want fries with your 50 shares of McDonald’s?”

We’ve covered pain and annoyances. But what does it take to become mentally tough? Friction. It’s when you try and fail, and learn something, then you try again, and again, and again, until you have things just like you want them. There are books about mental toughness. Business Icons, Coaches, Philosophers, Psychologists. They all have their 33 steps and 77 characteristics and whatever. It’s just the one thing: Don’t quit when you fail. Notice the word “When” because if you don’t fail, you don’t learn anything. You will fail. You’re supposed to. It’s a first draft; it’s an experiment; it’s something new you’ve never even dreamt about. Each time you try, you add more information to the picture you have in your head. The picture gets clearer with every act. But each time, there’s that friction. You have to push against something and you get tough in your brain. You change your perspective because you can see progress. You change your approach because now you see multiple paths. You seek out help in areas you wouldn’t have considered before because each try brings more information you have to gather and new skills you must master in order to succeed. The nice thing is this: because you’re tough, you continue to make progress and because you don’t back down, you don’t have to start from 0 every time.

When was the last time you had to be mentally tough? I think the most challenging was when I lived in a small town. I owned a dance/music/art studio so I taught from 3:30 pm to about 6:30 pm every day for dance and music lessons. I worked the 5-2 shift at Hardee’s 5 days a week. I was the church choir director and did that on Wednesdays from 7-9 and directed every Sunday. And I worked at a truck stop from 3:00 to close  Saturdays and Sundays. I had 5 kids at the time. Did I get what I wanted? Yes.

The most important thing you have to confront is how much Friction you want to take on. No toughness comes without friction, you have to determine how tough you want to be.

 

What stands between you and Happiness?

What a profound question.

People will put streams and fences and walls and people between themselves and happiness. Notice I say PUT.

Anne Frank spent 761 days in a tiny apartment with 7 others. They couldn’t leave the building and they had to be absolutely quiet during the day to avoid detection. And yet, she chose to be happy.

What is standing between me and happiness? Nothing. Happiness is not a conditional emotion. When I have this, then I will be happy. If something good happens, then I will be happy. If something bad doesn’t happen, then I will be happy. You cannot depend on things outside of your control to dictate your feelings.

Happiness is a choice.

It is ok to be sad, and mad, and depressed. But that shouldn’t be your default.

So what stands you and happiness? Only the conditions YOU put in between you and a state of happiness. So don’t put anything in there. Don’t build walls and mountains and only-ifs in there. Why make it so difficult?

A whole new world?

You have that song in your head now, don’t you! It screams adventure and excitement! Something new and amazing. What if, after this scare, you come out to a whole different, older world?

Think about it for a second.

When I first started working at Primerica, I was anxious to succeed. I knew that I would be able to help people by changing their perceptions of money and give them power over things that most people assume are beyond their control. They could choose their futures. All they needed were tools that would be simple enough to use and flexible enough to react to any circumstance. I saw the differences in my clients’ outlook on their futures. I saw the difference these tools made in my life. Enthusiastic? YES!

But…

The environment was completely different. There was the pounding football-rally-like music. There were high fives and all these people grinning like idiots. I was really uncomfortable. I would come home from training exhausted and drained. We had 2-day builder’s schools with an emotional element and an intellectual element…sales and products. The hardest part of the business was the team-building. You had to attract good team members because there were so many hopeless people that needed our help. These were people in pain. They were confined to a job that paid them just enough to keep them and not enough for them to realize their dreams. Their perceptions were grim: work until you die. You worked to live, and you had no life. There was no time for family, for travel, for education and experiences. There was not enough money to satisfy all the needs of the family: the weddings, the funerals, the vacations, the home of their dreams. We gave people those options that they couldn’t get anywhere else. They were surrounded by people that criticized them, who abused them, who sucked the joy right out of them. So when these people came to these meetings, they wanted joy and camaraderie. They wanted to think they could grab that brass ring. They needed hope. These meetings and builder’s schools provided that. After going to these things for years, I gradually became immune to “hug and high-five” cooties.

I hugged my kids and my husband and my parents. The first time I hugged my brothers was probably at my mom’s funeral in 1990, and I wasn’t in the company then. I wouldn’t hug friends. I didn’t have all that many. Then, when I started as a rep for the company,  I submitted to all the hugs and high-fives biweekly. It was really uncomfortable at first. There were a few of us that did the Spock high-five: it’s where you hold your hand in the traditional Vulcan greeting but DON’T TOUCH! You could do that across the room! Ahhh! Loophole! Before quarantine, I got to be OK with this touching after working with the company since 2001. 19 years it took me to get used to hugging and high-fiving. 19 years to be able to see and understand the pain of the people I worked with. 19 years caring and wanting to help people and grasping the emotional side of the tools I offered.

I am a Toastmaster and we shake hands multiple times during the meetings, and that didn’t feel weird. I am in Bible Study Fellowship and we hug each other and pray for each other, but that didn’t seem weird. I had arrived! And it was all due to this business I was in.

But now…

I still hug my husband and son. I don’t have access to my other kids or my grandkids. I don’t see my friends except in zoom meetings. Toastmasters has online meetings. Bible study and church are online.  I’ve become more comfortable in my isolation. I don’t have to have physical contact to “feel close” to those people anymore. Even Primerica is having virtual meetings.

What if it takes me another 20 years to get used to the physical touch again? I actually had to suppress shivers at first when I hugged someone. I wouldn’t get into crowded places if I could avoid it. I preferred sitting in my room with a book, or watching TV, or writing on the computer. Most people’s personal space is about 1 foot. Mine is about a mile. I hated talking with people that felt they had to touch you to talk to you. Joe Biden would drive me absolutely insane. I had one friend who was rather round, and when he talked to you sometimes he spat, and he was always bumping you with his big belly. His personal space was about 3 inches. I dreaded talking to him at church.

I know that this seems a bit frivolous, and you might even be laughing now. I am not. I guess it doesn’t make sense to project my future behavior. Many others may be reluctant to get as physically close as we used to because we’ve trained ourselves in fear for this time. It’s just a niggling thing in the back of my mind that I don’t have to worry about right now as the quarantine doesn’t look like it will be lifted any time soon. However…I hope my brand new world will be less intimidating than the world I enjoy now–isolation, quiet, freedom to be myself in all my weirdness.

Lessons Learned

What can we learn from this crisis? Now, I want you to think really hard about this!

We’re all fairly intelligent human beings. We have the ability to sift through information to uncover facts. Or do we? Let’s look at these crises:

911 What did we learn? Attacking the economy physically doesn’t weaken the US, it brings us together! We learned that access to a cockpit should be restricted–to keep the bad guys from taking over the plane. Right? Um, nope. We learned that Nobody can be trusted because granny might have explosive material in her shoes. We learned that everyone from the Middle East is a terrorist. We learned that the best response to a bad situation is to fix blame and yell at each other.

Hurricanes What essential things did we learn? The barrier islands are necessary to mitigate the effects of a hurricane. That building and developing businesses on land below sea level in an area plagued by hurricanes is not a good idea. Nope. We learned that FEMA is useless and should be defunded. That as long as you have money and means, hurricanes are not devastating and if you don’t have money and means, it’s your own fault.

CoViD-19 We learned that we are resilient and resourceful people who can show remarkable innovation. We learned that we need procedures and protocols in place to deal with infectious diseases at a moment’s notice. We learned that the factual information will come from a central source. NO? We learned that when attacked, we have to stock up on toilet paper and ammunition. We learned that our total economic salvation is dependent on a $1200 check that not everyone deserves, and if we’re getting $1200, rich people are getting $1.7 million. We’ve learned creative uses for toilet brushes and hair dryers. (EW!)

See? Dumb! Panicky! and Dangerous! Our first instinct is not to solve the problem but to find someone to blame and get revenge. Our first instinct is to think that someone we trust with our best interests at heart is most likely going to lie to us. We learned that the infringement of our rights to freedom to pursue happiness means that it is our RIGHT to go and infect everyone around us and be infected because it’s ok to thin the herd.

I do not believe that the fatalities will make that much of a difference in the general health of our society.  I also think that as long as you have to work in close quarters, your chances of infection are significantly higher than those people sitting on their couches watching NETFLIX. Thinning the herd is basically leaving the strong and healthy and eliminating the old, sick, or weak. This disease doesn’t seem to work like that. It is just as deadly on healthy young people.

I also believe that we have been surprised at how much money we spend on convenience such as eating out, and social activities like pub crawling, movies, concerts, rallies, races… I know that normally we spend upwards of $1000/month on things we do not do now. The $600 my husband withdrew from his paycheck nearly 2 months ago has dwindled down to $400. And last December, that same $600 would have been gone after 2 weeks!

We have had over 200 years to develop our culture’s responses to a crisis. Things we’ve grown to expect–

  1. Those in charge will “protect” us by giving us incomplete or false information.
  2. There will be no central repository of clear, factual information.
  3. The communication will be skewed and sensationalized based on whatever bias is going to attract the most advertising.
  4. Our government will spend most of its time trying to fix blame because it’s politics, and the main focus in politics is not to serve the people the political body represents but to ensure no loss of power.
  5. We can expect large corporations to take advantage of shortages by seeing to the bottom line, not by responding to a crisis to reduce the effects on the health and well-being of their customers.
  6. We would be surprised if confidence men and women DIDN’T take advantage of the panic and separate people from their money.
  7. We would be shocked to find we DIDN’T need extra security on our internet communications due to photo/meeting bombing.

And, true to form, we will learn the wrong lessons and make the wrong adjustments and jump to the wrong conclusions.

Because people are dumb, panicky, and dangerous animals.

What each of us should do is this:

  • Come up with a list of things you like about how we’re now living, and things you don’t like.
  • Think about how you could integrate the things you like into your new world after quarantine. (Pants would probably still be required for any activity outside the house, but other than that…) Do you prefer working at home? Do you want to spend more time with your family? Do you like the money you save by self-entertaining?
  • Think about how you could improve the things you don’t like in your current circumstances so that you would not have to deal with them post quarantine. If you hate masks but you want to keep yourself isolated from airborne diseases, could you find a fashion alternative like a niqab? The banks might make you remove it when you went into their lobbies…
  • Talk about this with the people in your household. WRITE IT DOWN and look at it daily. Now is the time to start establishing these patterns of behavior so when the quarantine is lifted, it would seem like second nature.
  • Remember that our old habits led us into this situation where COVID-19 could take hold and spread so quickly. We need new habits.

After the walls come down, we need to act on our plans and not just fall back into the same behavior patterns that got us into this mess. We need to learn the right lessons! Whom do you want to idolize now? Which people really are essential in our lives? Do we need all that we want? Have our priorities shifted? What kinds of activities do you now consider essential? Have you now been exposed to something that makes life more awesome? I would not be averse now to join a Toastmasters online club several thousand miles away rather than limiting myself to the clubs in my immediate area. I know how to do mass meetings and can now get all of our family together. I will hug the stuffing out of them when I meet them personally, and up until lately, I didn’t like hugging much.

Let us learn the RIGHT lessons, and then apply them!

Stupid things that make me crazy

I watched some Longmire…When Walt, the Sherriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming, has a speech to give, he always stands the same way–weight on left foot, right foot forward and head tilted. If there’s a plot point, they close in on his face.

The background music for this show is an E5. That’s a power chord consisting of E and B. It’s not even a complete chord. There may be a little descant which is a variation on this chord, but over and over? The guitarist plays it in the lowest range of his guitar as a 3 note chord, and then plucks those same 3 strings one at a time. This is accompanied by low toms on the drumset in a typical country/western rhythm.

I also watch NCIS and Criminal Minds, and though there’s music that accompanies the action, I can’t tell you what it is. No clue what key it’s in or the instrumentation. Whenever they want to make a point, Rossi is face forward, Penelope is from a lower angle if she’s worried, and from an upper angle if she’s profound. Morgan is always slightly profiled as is Reid. Gibson is face forward. Emily is face forward. JJ is slightly profiled.

Leverage? Nate Ford is face-forward and head slightly down when he’s menacing and sober, profile and head up when he’s drunk. Parker is face forward, but none of the rest ever look directly into the camera. When they’re in the planning stages of the con, it’s a flute with rock and roll drum beat. When they’re sneaking around, it’s a bass guitar solo in 10ths.

With all these action shows, they never, ever, EVER, play the same chord all the way through the show, over and over on the same instrument.

They should buy the guitarist for Longmire a capo so at least he’d get a couple of new notes.

Why Not?

https://northglenn-thorntonsentinel.com/stories/north-0319-lte-burkas,296399?

Tired of wearing/finding masks? Here’s a solution!!! The burka is a head-to-toe covering with mesh for visibility. The Niqab is a head-to-toe covering with just the eyes visible. What if they weren’t just for women anymore? What if everyone wore them? 

  1. You wouldn’t be able to tell men from women. Trans, gay, bi, it wouldn’t matter! But only if everyone wore black. Well that might be depressing. Men wouldn’t have to worry about starched shirts and ties anymore. Women would save a ton on hair products and make-up (except for the eyes). Think of the money we’d save on SHOES! You wouldn’t have to have a pair that matched each color of the rainbow, and NO MORE STILLETTOS! No more underwire bras! No more girdles and tummy tuckers and butt enhancers. Heck! The reason for going to the gym would be getting healthy, not worrying about a beach body!
  2. You could still self-isolate because you’d be lost in yards and yards of fabric. So you could be apart together!
  3. If you cough or sneeze it wouldn’t go past your face! You’d have to wash the head piece daily, but how bad would that be? But colds and flu instances might go down along with other viruses that are transmitted by touch or by coughing or sneezing. It might save a ton in medical expenses. It might also reduce the effects of allergies as everything you breathe in would be filtered through the fabric.
  4. Fashion designers could have a field day! Imagine a niqab or burka with a fake shirt and tie? What about one that uses the material as a canvas and gives the impression that the person wearing it is 60 pounds lighter? How about Jackson Pollock burkas? Tie died! Batik! Sequins! Studs!
  5. People could no longer be targeted for their religion!
  6. The Bob Newharts of the world could compete with the Brad Pitts. Amy Madigans can compete with Catherine Zeta Jones’. There’s a certain confidence and bravery that comes with anonymity. We see that on all the social media sites. You can be anything! Physical beauty would no longer be a criteria for selection. Pleasant voice, witty banter, wisdom and insight would make a comeback! There’d be no more body shaming! NO MORE BIKINIS! No size 0 clothes. We can be less than perfect specimens and still be considered people of promise and possibility. Nothing wrong with that!

Could we live under the restrictions we now have if we didn’t feel that it would be just temporary? All communication must be virtual? Change from a commuter base to a home base? No big groups? Social Isolation mandatory? Well, there’d be less mob-think. We can’t feed on the emotions of those around us. That condition has two sides: no lynch mobs but at the same time no group support. Can you imagine playing a sport in an empty stadium? Playing without that 6th man can sometimes make the difference between pushing yourself to new limits and sticking to the status quo. Would we be able to rise to new heights? Maybe…but I think the progress would be slowed. We are social animals after all. With the burkas and naqabs the style, the fashion, the trend, we can be with each other. Without, we’re hiding in our computer rooms or binge watching NETFLIX and all of the seasons of Dr. Who. Something to consider.

Getting Back to Normal

Measurable Progress applies in this case! More people falling ill or fewer? More people surviving or fewer? More people reconnecting with each other or everyone more isolated? How are we progressing? Are the steps we’re taking producing any results?

People are self isolating, self quarantining, except to go to the store and buy more toilet paper. I understand it now though. How many of you waited until you got to work and had your first 15 min break to use the bathroom? Ya, uhuh. See? We were all peeing on company time and using the company toilet paper. Who knows how much toilet paper you have to have to compensate for all the times you now have to go to your own bathroom? And all you folks that went to the restroom in the restaurants? And the movie theaters? And the doctors’ offices? We were unprepared to have to purchase our own toilet paper and of course we panicked! Did they do the math? “Honey? How much do you use every time you go?” “You mean you want me to count the sheets?” “Well…yes?” “And how often do you go every day?” Gets out calculator. Dang! We’d better stock up!  And of course, since we never take our calculators to the grocery store, we don’t know how many 2-ply or 1-ply sheets per roll and how well they, ahem, do the job.

What else are we unprepared for? Breakfast at home instead of in the car? Nobody brown-bagged their lunches at work. You’d have to label them and protect them from getting stolen. Wait, colas cost that much in the store? What a rip off they charge that much in the vending machine!!! Actual food for dinner? You CAN have all your favorite foods delivered to you, but hose delivery charges will really mess you up! You gotta save your money now because they don’t need you and so they won’t pay you. Oops? We were supposed to save our money BEFORE everything got shut down and we all lost our jobs? How were we supposed to do that? OH and BTW, glasses or cups work great for getting water from the tap. Free water instead of paying for it? Well DUH! If you can tell the difference between filtered, mountain stream water from the pristine pipes in Detroit and the stuff coming out of your sink, well, you have a better palate than I do! And it means less plastic in the landfill or the oceans.

ANYWAY, we all want to get back to Normal. Or do we? What is normal? Is normal just something we’re used to? Will those working from home really want to go back to the office? Will they really want to get up and dressed and spend money on gas and drive-thru to sit in a stifling cube all day? Why go to a building where it takes you 15 min to get to the bathroom when you can work 6 feet from the bathroom at home? Why spend an hour in rush traffic twice a day instead of just moseying into your office in your sweats? Aren’t you more relaxed and less distracted? If you have kids and a spouse and pets at home, those can be managed, the quiet is unsurpassed. With no place to go, it doesn’t matter what the gas prices are. HAHAHA!  Take THAT OPEC! You can watch movies at home with the very best cub scout popcorn. You can cook with your spouse or SO. You can be adventurous and have stuff other than pizza and burgers.

Now even important meetings can be done remotely, and you can play solitaire during the boring parts. Check your email, change your status on FB. Just click your clicker when you need to.

Here’s the thing though.

NORMAL is the petri dish that made all this corona virus so virulent. Work this problem out. Find ways to be more efficient and actually enjoy the quarantine. Revel in your relationships with your spouse and kids. Enjoy the quiet. Work in your garden. Work puzzles together. Teach your kids how to play Monopoly and other board games. Get off your phone. Limit your time on the computer. Make a NEW NORMAL! It cannot go back to the way it was. The only way to put the worms back in the can is to get a bigger can. Once people have had to be innovative and resourceful, they may not want someone thinking for them. Once people have tasted self reliance, will they want to be dominated and made other-reliant again? Some will, some won’t.

What will you do? What is your new normal?