My crumpets have popped

All I need is the air that I breathe. Every breath you take. Something in the air. Breathe. And my favourite – Still breathing.

Just a few songs about ……… breathing. What would we do without it? I think we know the answer to that. So, let’s not think about that.

And while I’m rambling, what in the name of a rather nice bread is the blog title all about? Read on, it’s not what it appears.

And with that, welcome to another phew from the ground. Lockdown continues. It’s become the new normal.what is normal? What was normal? What will be normal? In reality, why do we need normal? That’s a bit of a learning for me. Why is normal so important? Interestingly, I’ve recently seen a UK government minister has said we need to find a ‘new normal’. How bizarre.

Now, I fully appreciate, for many normal is critical. It could be for physical health reasons, it could be for mental health reasons.

For me, I have always being one to aim at normal. To have routine. To know what I need to do, and be aware of what I am going to be doing. But lockdown normality leaves me wondering what ‘not normal’ would be like.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an eye opening, thunderbolt of an awakening. I need the foundation of my life – Aud, Ben (and Gaby), Liv, family, friends, Ringo, Zeek, work, home etc, etc. And much more. But, with my foundation well and truly in place, the thought of not normal – as in unplanned, exploratory is kind of interesting.

To be fair, the closest I get to ‘not normal’ at the moment is venturing from not having an Indian take away on a Friday night . Even in lockdown, that normality has been retained. Phew! But, then should that be phew or should it be new. Try something new. Try to break the normal and reach out to something else. Vietnamese take away? A brave new world?

But then, by changing from the normal does that become the new normal of not being normal. Normally I’d have an answer but I don’t know. All I do know is, why don’t you give yourself a try. After all, life is what you make it.

So, what’s with the breathing song titles at the start of the blog? Good question. As a starter, it’s a change from the normal. In addition, it’s something I’ve been focusing on this week.

I’m lucky to work at a company who already had a great focus on employee wellbeing. As we work our way through this crisis, wellbeing becomes even more important. I was delighted to join a webinar on Wellbeing last week and at the end, the host / presenter talked us through a 5 minutes meditation which focussed on breathing.

Now, those who have known me for some time know I have tried, and enjoyed, meditation. I guess I’ve drifted in and out of meditation – rather then in meditation. But when I give it a go, it does help relax me.

My problem has always been emptying my mind and just being at peace. There’s always so much going on. I’ve tried guided meditation, using music and just lying in silence. I guess my preference has been guided and I would strongly recommend it. It’s good for the soul, particularly at times of stress. Just concentrating on the voice. Losing yourself. As they say, when thoughts come in to your mind you should acknowledge that thought but then let it go.

However, the 5 minutes breathing meditation was a very pleasant revelation. 5 minutes of purely focussed breathing – deep breathing. Not in a weird heavy breathing down the phone sort of thing. Just deep breathing – filling your lungs and then releasing.

I’ve incorporated this into my morning routine. It’s simple and effective. It’s good for the brain and it gets my breathing process up and running before my walk with Ringo.

I would strongly recommend meditation to anyone and everyone. Go on, why don’t you give yourself a try.

It’s all about doing the not normal. And, I really am trying. Some might suggest I am very good at not being normal. That’s not what I’m suggesting. It’s doing the ‘not normal’. That is, the not normal to you.

We’re living in very unique times. Getting up and not jumping in the car or getting the bus or train to work. For many, that’s a new world. Sitting at a desk or table at home and doing work, for many that’s a new world. But the new world becomes the present world – doesn’t it? The present normal.

It is nice, however, to transfer some of the previous normal into the present normal and, hopefully take it to the new normal. Some things are just perfect to have as normal. Maybe, we have to adapt them into the new version of the normal.

Now, let me think? Old normal; new normal; and now new version of normal. So, it’s not a new normal it’s just a new version of the old normal. Confused? Bored? Headache? Bored of your headache? Take two normal tablets and a glass of new normal water and you’ll be fine.

I’m loving a specific new version of mine and Aud’s normal. Sunday breakfast. Over the previous several months of old normal we developed a lovely routine of poached eggs on crumpet for breakfast (I’m glad I just re-read that, as I’d put poached eyes!). A combination of the inspiration of a breakfast in Glasgow and a breakfast request from Eilidh (the eggs), and there we had it – our Sunday treat and a chance for another chat.

Well, even in lockdown, we can maintain our breakfast. FaceTime and we are 2 happy chefs, serving up our breakfasts and chatting , and laughing . I miss not having Aud with me. But this really helps. And, last Sunday, as I was watching my eggs boil, I heard those words of magic – “My crumpets have popped”. I nearly projected my coffee across the kitchen.

The old normal really is now the present normal Just a different type of normal. I’m lucky.

So, on that note, as is normal, I’ll finish while I’m on a high and wish you good health and happiness.

Stay safe.

Jon

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