blank piece of paper with pencil on wooden suface with crumpled papers in background

new normal, redux.

As I’ve written, Black lives matter. I found How to be an Antiracist (library availability) as well as Me and White Supremacy (library availability) to be two good places to start learning. I’m reading The Torture Letters (library availability) to begin to better understand how we arrived at certain current events. To create lasting change in my community, I made sure to fill out the census and I schedule time to VOTE (in every election — local primaries, school budget, and national elections).

I hadn’t meant to pause writing here for so long. At the end of last year, I set aside time to figure out if and how this project should continue. I enjoy writing about my processes. However, I am frustrated by what I see in most productivity offerings and the cult of busy-ness. I also take issue with the ideal of perfectionism, especially how it appears in social media. The question I constantly asked myself, is this project valuable to others? I sketched a map and was filling in an outline, feeling good about the direction and risk I was taking with this project.

Then 2020 happened.

Today is day 97 since my region widely announced word of its first case and began to slowly respond and understand what Covid-19 really meant in terms of public health and safety. We’re adapting to new normal.

However, back when pandemic began to expand its reach and the curve shot skyward, I ignored my own lessons and burned out in a rush of work. Clients shifted priorities which meant changing what I was working on and in the evenings I frantically sewed masks for an organization in need.

My news feeds and social media were awash with articles promising the secrets to working from home and that specific tech would solve everything. There were guarantees that the purchase of a certain product would make things everything right. It was discouraging to see this consumerism as unemployment rose, child hunger grew, and many were falling ill and dying. Simultaneously, the tongue-in-cheek posts began to appear joking about how no one knew the current weekday.

Combine that with unequal — everything in American society, from who is an essential worker, to health care, to profiling by police — and that lead to more reevaluation.

Today I have more questions then answers. I am not sure yet the role of this project in the future. I’m not sure if this post is valuable to anyone else.

How have I, and my pen, worked through the past three months?

Some days are better than others.

The key has been to pause, examine, and negotiate what’s important every single day. Each morning I take time to acknowledge the day; today is Monday 08 June, day 97 of new normal. My daily schedule is a mix of routine tasks around the house and for my clients, working on learning new things for myself and developing my business, and spending alone time with myself.

Is it different from 98 days ago? Yes!

But in many ways it’s very similar, I’ve worked from home for years. I’ve tried to keep as many routines as possible so I can keep balanced and moving forward. Honestly, my city’s sanitation schedule has helped making sure I know the day so that the proper items are put out for collection.

These past few months have also seen an even larger step away from social media than the one I took before. I now use this time to examine the core of what I do and how I share it with others.

While I haven’t yet figured it all out to my satisfaction, in the near-term, I plan to write regularly more here about how I work. I want to explore how bad days evolve, and what makes a day good. I hope to finish and release a workbook that will help others create a method they trust. The world has turned upside down so I’m not sure yet what will be offered. This project is a work in progress. I hope you’ll join me as we explore it together.

blank piece of paper with pencil on wooden suface with crumpled papers in background