When all of this is over, something strange is going to happen.
When the quarantine lifts and we can finally hug our friends. When schools are back in session and we no longer hear the words “social distancing,” there will be a huge burst of excitement and celebration.
Everyone will realize everything they took for granted, and we will all be so grateful to have those things back again.
Right now, though—while we’re in the thick of it all—we are entering into survival mode. We’re finding ways to adapt to all of the change, and we’re implementing routines that help us feel normal and in control.
We’re also finding ways to enjoy this time. We’re adjusting to simplicity and new schedules and some of us will like that.
Then there will be those who were in the eye of the storm—the doctors and nurses working overtime in a constant state of heightened adrenaline and feelings of helplessness. Those who lost loved ones and delivered babies on their own. They’ll need more time to adjust, and that’s OK, be gracious with them as they do.
When this all ends, the two worlds will collide, and we’ll be in this strange place of wanting to go back but needing to move forward.
It’s called reintegration, and it’s the ebb and flow of military families around the globe.
We just want to say the world probably won’t be the same right away.
And that’s OK, it’s normal.
We’re going to be in this tension for a little while—of hoping to keep the things we enjoyed and desperately trying to go back to the life we had.
When we finally realize that’s not possible right away, we will—in some ways—grieve the normal we once knew.
It will be discouraging at first and some days it might seem like nothing will ever be the same.
Don’t worry, though. This feeling will pass, too.
Be flexible through the process as we all get back to real life again and embrace what’s new.
Sometimes new is better than before, and sometimes it’s just different.
Different is OK.
We will all be OK again.
Hopefully a little kinder, a little more patient, and definitely with cleaner hands.
A military wife
Previously published on the author’s Facebook page