Thriving in the ‘new normal’

Published December 4, 2021, 12:05 AM

by Alex M. Eduque


Alex Eduque

As the days go on, and as new variants spring out again just when we thought we had things under control, the more convinced I am that we have to accept that the world we live in today (and in the days to come) will be a “new normal.” I was so resistant to that term for so long because I always thought we would go back to life as we once knew it. But almost two years into the pandemic, I realized that the world has shifted. And although more aspects of our lives today resemble more of the normal we once knew when compared to last year, there will always be a part that will never go back. Or maybe, it will take quite some time. Acceptance is key, and once we learn to do so, we find that it is much easier to be happy, content and at peace with whatever, and wherever our present situation finds us.

I had this realization just as I was writing a speech I had to deliver to a college body of students via Zoom the other day. It is always a privilege to be asked to share a nugget of wisdom (or two, if you can even call it that) on volunteerism to the youth. And though some ideas from speeches I have given before find its way to new speeches, I always make it a point to start from scratch and create a new one specifically for the audience. Why? Because I always feel that when we are given the honor and privilege; a platform to share our ideas if you will – that we must always give it nothing short of our very best.

That, and, things have most definitely changed from the last time I gave a speech. Although this is not my first speech on Zoom, and I do miss the adrenaline of physically standing on stage, behind a podium, flipping through pages of my notes in front of a large audience, for everyone’s safety, this will have to do for now. That is when I had the realization that prompted today’s article: if not for this “new normal,” finding myself on the opposite side of the world from Manila these days, I otherwise would have had to turn down the invitation. Instead, staying up late and adjusting to the time zone of the host is but a small sacrifice and compromise I am more than willing to endure for the great honor given to me.

Indeed, this “new normal” as we try to navigate it the best we can everyday has its perks if we look hard enough, and in my case, this is definitely one of it. Technology, when it works well, is definitely an asset like no other that is able to bring the world together no matter where you may find yourself physically today. It is inevitable that some days bring more frustrations than others, and that our patience for incompetence and mediocrity these days are running low. But, we must never forget to seek the silver linings too – it is in finding this balance that our happiness, at the very least, our sanity lies.

So as we dive into the full holiday swing on this first weekend of December, let us not forget that even though we may be overcome with worry and anxiety as uncertainty still looms about us, more often these days, that we must not forget to see the blessings that this “new normal” has been able to gift us with. Although harder, and more difficult at times, you will be surprised to find the fulfillment that consciously counting your blessings can bring you. Believe me.