What’s your new normal?

29 Oct

Lately I’ve been intrigued by the phrase “the new normal” — I like it, but it sure has the potential to be overused and rendered meaningless, like many catch phrases before it.
I’m guessing that it originated as the economy began its downward slide a couple of years ago. The “new normal” is living with high unemployment, stagnant production, a worldwide recession and consumer skittishness.
A Google search of the phrase brought me to:
A New York Times headline “Jobless and Staying That Way.” http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/08/weekinreview/08schwartz.html
An ABC News regular segment on the “new economic reality” for Americans. http://abcnews.go.com/Business/Economy/
… and several other economy-related articles.
Interestingly, the first page of the Google search also brought up The New Normal Network: Audio Content Your Way — www.newnormalnetwork.com — an enterprise of longtime radio personality Tom Leykis. I clicked on the site’s music player, “now playing 50,000 songs in a row,” and did a mini-recoil when the screen told me Cee-Lo’s new song “F… You” (this is a family blog, so I won’t spell the word out) was playing. Not to worry, though. It’s a pretty good song from the Gnarls Barkley singer. I stayed with it for a little while because it seemed so eclectic and unlike what I get from Phoenix radio. I was rewarded with a song from The Magnetic Fields that I’d never heard but liked.
The phrase also got me to thinking, what’s my “new normal”?
Let’s see: There are still deposits in my bank account, but they are less frequent and much smaller. My days are not ruled by a school bell and lesson plans (see previous blog) https://deborahross.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=44&action=edit And I’m much more even-tempered. The economy has dampened my earlier enthusiasm about finding a job and/or snagging freelance gigs. But I’ve been in this world long enough to know that things can get better with just one phone call.
I’ll call my new normal by another name — guarded optimism.
What’s your new normal? Comments are welcome.

Postscript: The phrase “new normal” was all over the year-end edition of Bloomberg Businessweek. One of their year-in-review sections was called “Normal,” and the magazine included several blurbs about life in Normal, Illinois.

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