Reflections on our New Normal and what we may never want to give up

We’re nine months into the global pandemic, and I don’t know if we can ever go back to the way things used to be.

The sardine can-commutes into the downtown core, riding the subway shoulder-to-shoulder with others scrambling to make it to their jobs on time, too. Triple-booked schedules with kids’ activities and social events galore, trying to make food for holiday potlucks while preparing costumes for holiday pageants and still getting reports done in time for the meeting in the morning.

The Before Times came with an entirely different set of priorities — more focused on cramming as much into our days as humanly possible than worrying about our personal well-being. That’s something I don’t know if we can take for granted ever again.

One thing the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us is that nothing’s guaranteed.

Ever since having kids, I was like a man possessed with a singular purpose—to do whatever it took to provide the very best lives possible for my family. That meant many a late night as I worked hard as an IT professional by day, and just as hard on my growing dad brand by night. I convinced myself that the sacrifice was worth it. The city was always bustling with activity and opportunity, and I’d be foolish to just sit down and let it pass me by.

But the pandemic forced me to sit down and realize things that I’d never noticed before. Like how my lifestyle was the utter embodiment of working harder and not smarter, thinking my path to success involved finding more hours in the day instead of letting the things I already had do some of the work for me. Or how much I relied on the outside world for my happiness and validation instead of looking within myself and my household to appreciate the life that Sarah and I were growing together and the children we were raising within it.

Simultaneously for better and for worse, the pandemic has made life a lot more complicated, but also helped us understand what actually matters when it really comes down to it. And armed with that knowledge, how could we go back to the world before COVID, living lives assuming that tomorrow is promised instead of making the most of what we have today?

Can We Ever Go Back to the Way Things Were When COVID’s Done?

So, with a vaccine potentially around the corner, it’s time to prepare for a new new normal, where we can put into practice the lessons learned from this pandemic and stop taking things in our lives for granted. We’ll eventually return to some sense of routine in the post-COVID world, and after enough time we’ll put this moment behind us… but let’s be sure to make the most of whatever time is ahead.

You never know what’s around the corner!

Casey is a Canadian Dad from Toronto, Ontario who shares his fatherhood journey at Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad, one of the few places to find fatherhood content in the Great White North. He shares his story because it’s different. He’s a Black father. He comes from a multiracial family. His family’s an urban family, looking to thrive in the city rather than run out to the suburbs like so many families have done before them.

You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube!