Sue Roll: Learning to make the new normal better

May 17, 2020  |  by Bonifas Arts Center

We are experiencing the world changing around us! The COVID-19 pandemic has our museums and art galleries, stores and restaurants shuttered. We have been hunkered down in our homes and searching for ways to entertain ourselves. 

And, quite honestly, never have I seen such an outpouring of arts and culture activity. Online concerts, photography sharing, poetry readings, opera, art fairs, crafting projects, artists painting “live” on Facebook, and in so many other ways we are engaging and entertaining ourselves. Just think about the books, tele-vision or movie viewing you’ve absorbed since mid-March. And while we have likely indulged in what we love and know best, this time has put us all in a learning curve. 

These days we are all learning something new. Sit-down restaurants have learned to do take-out meals. Stores with prior face-to-face customer traffic are now doing curbside delivery. Not-so-savvy tech people are learning how to video chat. We are learning to appreciate people we may have not given a second thought about – like grocery store employees and our healthcare work-ers. We are learning to tolerate wearing a mask and the self-discipline of wearing one. 

We are learning to engage our minds and our families. What have you had to learn? Have you had to learn to FaceTime or Messenger Video Chat? 

Do you have a new mastery of your TV remote? 

Learning new things can be challenging, frustrat-ing and very rewarding. Engaging creativity when you learn gives you an advantage. Creativity 

involves critical thinking, planning and focused attention – all things that make learning easier. 

If you approach new learning like a child learning to color you can’t go wrong. There is room for trying new approaches, seeing something from a new angle, asking others what they would do, and, ultimately, trying (sometimes over and over) to get the job done. A lot less judgment of our-selves when we are trying new things leads to much faster progress and greater satisfaction. 

And, when life slowly returns to normal, it is very likely to be a new normal. Since we’re all a little better at new, how will what you’ve learned make your new normal better? 

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