It’s a quiet Saturday late afternoon at home. Other than the occasional traffic noise from the street or the clip-clop of footsteps up or down the stairs my home is serene. I sat for a few moments wondering if this is my new normal.
The old normal, when Carrie was here, is gone….and with it, the false sense of permanence that once was.
False sense of permanence? Yep, from my observation many live with it for many, many years. I describe it as a cognitive process that acknowledges the finiteness of life but at the same time pushes the concept so far away from thought that one rarely considers it. The result is a false sense that life and life interactions will go on without major interruption. With Carrie’s death the finiteness of life has become an everyday acknowledgement in my home. I am not referring to the unhealthy dwelling on death followed by living in fear. Nor do I refer to living in a perpetual state of grief. It is recognizing, hopefully in a healthy manner, that today’s normal can and will change.
I think living with a false sense of permanence can rob us of our today’s. A false sense of permanence is closely tied to the phony belief that tomorrow is available to make up for today. It allows anger, resentment, emotional cut-offs, and other hurts to fester and damage relationship. A false sense of permanence leads people to put off making things right, making things better, or just making things happen in all areas of life. It is demonstrated by a life out of balance. A false sense of permanence leads to poor choices in today’s activities that steal today’s relationship-building opportunities. A false sense of permanence results in a life filled with regret, sorrow, and sadness.
The opposite of false permanence is living in today while holding the possibility of tomorrow tentatively.
So is this my new normal? Yes……….for today.