There’s No Going Back to What Was

Someone posted a sort of Christmas wish on Facebook this morning, basically asking for things to go back to the way they were. While I understood the sentiment, I knew that wasn’t about to happen. Our world has changed and continues to change. Having things the “way they were” would only keep us stuck. Life continually evolves.

Do I like what is happening at the moment in our world? Absolutely not. I’m not sure there’s a single person out there who does. During the past two years we’ve endured a lot as a society, both collectively and personally. Do I wish things were different? Absolutely. But wishes alone do not bring something to fruition.

Here’s the thing, our world will not go back to what was. How can it? As a result of the changes to our world, we have also changed, maybe in ways we’re not aware of yet. Change does not always have to be dramatic. Change can be as subtle as the soft shifting of the wind, and often is.

There’s this instinct in us to take notice of the negative aspects of change, instead of embracing the positive. I have seen families at odds this past while, posting their hurt on Facebook which is why I stayed away from social media for a few months and only stayed connected with my kids and siblings through group chats. Honestly, it hurts to see families at odds.

But here’s what I’ve observed, we ask others to be understanding and tolerant with us for the choices we’ve made and yet don’t afford those people that same understanding back. It’s a two way street. Maybe what we need to remember is that once we have passed through this time in our world’s history we may want and need the support of these people we were once at odds with simply because we made different choices along the way. Sometimes, we just need to agree to disagree about something and stop being offend when someone doesn’t share our point of view.

Someone also posted a very positive message, explaining why she didn’t feel comfortable mingling with some people in her life right now, because of the position she was in with regards to other family members who are particularly vulnerable at this time. She asked that people not be offended if she asked that they not join her for Christmas. It was a very kind and thoughtful post, and seriously if anyone found themselves offended then it was because they choose to be. Which shows that there is a kind and loving way to express your point of view if you really want to.

Personally, I have long given up the need to persuade others into thinking the way I do, even when I was so certain it would be for the betterment of them. We all make choices in our lives and they need to be our choices, not someone else’s. What I know is that, people may change the way they think about something, but more than likely it won’t be through an argument with family or friends. None of us want to be bullied into something. If and when we feel a need to change our views on something it will happen in its own good time, but only if and when we are ready. In other words, save your breath and your friendships.

If we’re being honest, there have also been some good things happening these past couple of years as well. People are connecting with one another in ways they weren’t before. It’s caused some of us to realize what’s truly important. Some folks now enjoy working from home. For them, this has been something positive. Many of us have stepped up to do acts of kindness for others and all of us have had to draw on our own inner strength to get us through some days. Recognizing who we are, and what we’re capable of, when hard times come our way is a good thing. It helps build our self-esteem.

Will things every go back to the way they were? My answer to that is no. But perhaps you share a different sentiment, perhaps you are waiting for life to go back to the good old times we are used to. While my answer is no, yours may very well be yes.

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9 Comments

  1. I don’t see how we could go back to what was. Even in 2017, we couldn’t return to 2015. I am hearing online in other areas that family and friends are ‘breaking up’, but I have not witnessed that first hand.

    There have been many positive things over the past two years. Many people are seeing life through a different lens.

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    • I think many of us have had quite a wake-up call, if you want to put it that way. But I think anything that gives us a reason to stop and reflect, to decide what really matters in the moment, can’t be a bad thing. Looking for the positive things in life is a good exercise for all of us. I know it may be harder for some than others. I believe we will come through this stronger and more aware of what is actually important to us. Now if only we knew when that would be. 😉

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  2. About going back, I’m with you on that. There is no way of going back. Too many things have happened, too many people have lost their lives in this pandemic. And, most unfortunately, people have taken offense about everything, particularly of the smallest things. I’ve been told to quit being polite; they’re offended by politeness. Okay … I suppose they prefer being under a dark cloud all the time, and being rude and coarse. I won’t engage in arguing the point.

    At some point, this will end. The time will be when it is done with us. Will we be better for it? That’s the big I don’t know.

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    • I hope you never quit being polite, David. If it’s in your nature to be polite, then by all means. In the end, we all have to take responsibility to our actions and words. It can be difficult to take back things said in anger or fear.

      As to whether we’ll be better after all of this, I think maybe that will depend upon us and how we want to look at things. There have been many times that I’ve felt discouraged and disappointed during this pandemic as I know many other people have been. But once we reach the other side, my hope is that we will rise above it all as we have done so many times in our past. Take care, David.

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  3. Well, I’ll just keep making masks – can’t imagine that we’ll be going to public places without them in the next while. In this time of information overload, with so many unreliable resources flooding social media, etc., there’s bound to be confusion and heated disagreements, depending on what people are reading/believing. I’m happy to have the people who are much smarter than me about medical/epidemic things make the decisions leading to the best outcome for all of us! Hope you’ll have some grandkid time over the holidays – I’m nagging Shannon for new Ada pics to share with friends…

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    • I have to agree with you on that, Jan. We have good people here in Nova Scotia making decisions. Would love to see another photo of Ada. I guess no mews on the other bundle of joy…I hope you are there when the joyous occasion happens. Past due date now, right?

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  4. Way back in mid-2020 the phrase “the new norm” was being thrown about. We thought what we had then would be what our future looked like. Little did we realize how much more there was to endure, or how many more lives would be affected by COVID-19. I’m sure you’re right–there have been too many changes for our lives to ever return to what they were before this pandemic began. But the need for people to resume familiar routines, to return to in-person relationships and to regain peace of mind are all important and I believe are achievable goals. I’ve felt like my life has been on hold for the better part of the past two years, and at my age losing that much time leaves me both upset and somewhat panic-struck. I’d like to think there is at least a recognizable “new norm” coming in the near future.

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    • Thank you for this, Carol. I agree about what you said about feeling as though your life’s been on hold for the past two years. That’s exactly how it feels. Some days I feel more optimistic than others. I am missing time with my grandchildren. My oldest granddaughter and my daughter always spent Christmas with us. This is the second Christmas they haven’t been able to. I can’t get that time back and it makes me sad, but I also can’t dwell in those thoughts. I hope you are right and the “new norm” will end up being something we recognize and want. 🙂

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  1. I Reject the New Normal | Diana Tibert

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