Falling asleep on the couch in April and May has always been a thing for as long as I can remember. Not because I didn’t like sleeping in my bed, but because I would fall asleep watching playoff hockey well into the night. There was something comforting about knowing games would be on almost every night at 7pm and then again at 10pm and I could slide back into being a little kid again when I listened to the Philadelphia Flyers games while laying on the floor with Gene Hart playing over the AM airwaves.
The highlight reel is quite long - from Uwe Krupp beating John Vanbiesbrouck with a slapshot from the point in the third overtime to clinch the Stanley Cup for the Colorado Avalanche in their first season to Keith Primeau saving the postseason for the Flyers in the 2000 Eastern Conference Semifinals in the Game 3 of that series when he scored in the fifth overtime period (the longest game in modern NHL history) to many more over the past twenty years.
It wasn’t until all those memories came flooding back until I realized what I was feeling, what I was missing, and why it was hitting so hard - I was missing normalcy. Everything you previously set your watch by, all the seasonal elements of life, the daily routine of work-life balance - it was all out the window. Similar to my last post, The Saddle Point, it was all about staying afloat and just moving forward through the first couple weeks of all the COVID-19-related public health precautions. But now that I am on the other side of that apex, I am beginning to see what I am missing, how it is affecting, and most importantly, how I can adapt to compensate for that lack of normalcy and comfort.
I’ve doubled-down on structuring my time between working, parenting, relaxing, and virtually connecting with friends & family; I have reinvested my interest in video games that make me happy (which means avoiding online play in general); simplifying what I expect of myself throughout each day; and taking time to read each night - since my ever-growing bookcase was definitely a source of anxiety prior to all the chaos that 2020 has brought.
I don’t know when we’ll get back to all the things we used to set our watches by, to all the normalcy that we took for granted. But I do know we won’t take it for granted so easily the next time around. Take care of yourself, however that is needed in the moment - which may be wildly different each day, each hour, or each minute. The concept of a “new normal” doesn’t have to be easily swallowed, as all the things that did bring us comfort have not changed - they may be temporarily paused or delayed, but that doesn’t negate any of the joy, the comfort, the hope, or the happiness which they already brought you in years past.
Contrary to the lyrics of Baz Luhrman’s “Everybody’s Free”, I think now is the perfect time to dust off all that nostalgia and embrace it for everything that it is… ugly parts and all.