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The New Normal - What Did You Do Today?

By Mia Garza McCord, President. Apr 2, 2020

We are all in the middle of chaos. I feel pretty comfortable making that a statement. In the midst of the anxiety we are all feeling to keep our families healthy and safe, a lot of us are now taking on the position of teacher while balancing our full-time jobs remotely.

The new normal has brought about many irritating issues like figuring out Zoom, slow internet, co-workers who have not quite figured out the “mute” button (I’m likely that co-worker), mischievous dogs who can’t stay off the counters, kids who want snacks every 30 minutes but refuse to eat an actual meal, and the constant mess… holy moly, can the McCords destroy a clean house in five minutes! Then, you add daily press briefings and news stories about the growing number of infected Americans, and, even worse, the number of Americans who are daily losing their battles with COVID-19. Embracing the new chaos is emotional and incredibly demanding.

But, if I may, I’d like to challenge you to take it all in and see the opportunity. Let me give you a real-life example. What did I do today? Well, today, I hosted two conference calls with elected officials from across the state along with other daily work tasks while in my workout clothes, taught a 1st grader about compound words, how to count change, and the different stages of plant life, and perhaps my most favorite accomplishment of the day… wait for it… I made caterpillar pencil holders out of toilet paper rolls that we have collected over the last 3 weeks with my kids. I’ve included the photo so you too can appreciate these works of art.

Would I wish this to be my forever normal? Probably not. At some point, I would like to give the educating of my children back to the professionals who have always done a phenomenal job, and go back to my nice, white office with a window where I can meet with people in person and not over the phone and focus on state policy. But, today, and for the next month, why not?

I know we are all tired, anxious, frustrated, a little scared, and probably very grateful that Governor Abbott made it ok to order alcohol to-go from our favorite restaurants. Right now, in this moment, there is so much opportunity to grow closer God and to our families, re-prioritize our lives, be thoughtful neighbors and friends, and reconnect with what is most important to us.

In a few months, when life is hopefully back to the normal grind of “too busy” and “no time” we are going to miss this chaos. I already feel the pull every time my daughter claps when she recognizes a letter of the alphabet and when our son smiles after I approve his daily writing assignment. And, let’s be honest, those Zoom calls with kid interruptions are pretty dang funny.

This time has brought back the human in our routine. For the time being, our lives do not operate in the silos we have come to depend on, and that is ok. What does your new normal look like? Who have you reconnected with? Ask your kids what their favorite part of the day was, and I will bet money it has something to do with the time they are spending with you.

**As a side note: You might be asking why the President of a conservative policy think tank is writing a blog post of about her home life, well, we mustn’t forget that the “T” in our LIFT Principles stand for “Traditional Values.” I’d say this falls into that category, and isn’t it nice to not read about stimulus packages and policy changes, flattening the pandemic curve, or all the negative in the world?

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