Being New in the New Normal

Buried somewhere in every problem is an opportunity. That could almost be an INFJ mantra. We’re all about self-improvement, but in the midst of the new normal that is Covid-19 there are plenty of obstacles to self-improvement, including anxiety and depression.

Courtesy: Pixabay

Purpose is the gateway to taking advantage of opportunities and I’m doing just that. Not that it’s easy. It isn’t. I’m the type who faces her challenges straight on—while her legs shake so violently she can barely stand.

My tumble into the new normal probably looks a lot like everyone’s…

  • Friday, March 13th. My introduction to empty dystopian store shelves required deep breaths to ease the shaking in my hands.
  • Tuesday, March 17th. My last day at work to tie up loose ends.
  • Wednesday, March 18th. The official beginning of self-distancing.
  • Friday, March 20th. Paid sick leave began.
  • Tuesday, March 24th. Introduction to early morning shopping for seniors and those with underlying conditions.
  • Thursday, March 26th. My first appointment via video.
  • Wednesday, April 1st. My mammogram was cancelled.

Woven around all these personal moments was the bigger picture. Even in isolated Montana the news has changed fast. On my last day at work there were 3 reported cases in the state. Today? Well over 200.

At first, I was a mess. Sleep was elusive. I operated in a daze. My pulse and lungs were running a marathon.

Purpose calmed me down. Sure, finding purpose at home isn’t difficult for an introverted writer, but in the new normal there has to be more. There had to be a bigger plan, and it had to be both mental and physical.

Yes, I’ve been editing. A lot! I’m now well over halfway through Torment Surfacing. I’m also recording ideas for future editing and possible drafting.

Beyond that?

Photo: CA Hawthorne

I cleared junk out of my apartment and performed mini deep cleaning projects. After that, I reconfigured my home office. It’s now smaller, but homier, and everything is within reach. Finally, I can reach my printer/scanner from my chair.

I made improvements, too. Before, the desk worked for standing, but not for sitting, which I do when editing (draft standing, edit sitting). Sitting on a stool to edit was killing my back and I was cursing the lack of desktop space.

Rebuilding the desk, I created a keyboard tray (yes, I can be clever). I also stained the monitor stand to match the desk. On and on it went. My productivity has soared.

Photo: CA Hawthorne

All this created more room in the living room, making it easier to exercise inside, if needed. Psychologically, the sense of accomplishment and gained space have been a boost.

I’ve also begun fixing the WP site. I re-posted the first of my short stories, Taking Flight. Once the stories are back up I’ll start re-posting maps. Too, I need to remove all the dead links to my old website (boring!).

So, my goals going forward?

After I finish editing Torment Surfacing I’ll move on to Following the Essence Stone, which will be a partial rewrite. I’ll perform more cleaning and organizing, fix the WP site, and continue walking/exercising.

Some INFJ goals look like this:

I don’t want to remain healthy, I want to become healthier, via diet and exercise. I don’t want to edit, I want to set a new personal standard for productivity. The WP site won’t be fixed, it’ll be transformed into a more reader friendly experience.

It would seem that, as an INFJ personality type, these circumstances are ideal. To an extent, they are. We’re self-motivated and driven to improve ourselves when our purpose is clear. That creates opportunity. Without purpose, I’m prone to depression. My seeing the possibilities either becomes creativity and vision, or it becomes self-destructive worry.

I will spiral. The question is, which direction? Maintaining my course towards the apex is the challenge.


About Christina Anne Hawthorne

Alive and well in the Rocky Mountains. I'm a fantasy writer who also dabbles in poetry, short stories, and map making. My Ontyre tales are an alternative fantasy experience, the stories rich in mystery, adventure, and romance. Alternative fantasy? Not quite steampunk. Not quite gothic. In truth, the real magic is in those who discover what's within.
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