I am a member of a Facebook page for people affected by Parkinson’s. The question was asked today, ‘what is your normal’? It made me think about how I have never liked the use of that term. After all, what is my normal, may be very different from everyone else’s version of normal and what is ‘normal’ for me today may not be so tomorrow. Labels like ‘normal’ to me are value laden, laden with expectations and perceptions of what we should aspire to be. So, now with a new diagnosis of Parkinson’s one thing I don’t aspire to be is ‘normal’ in any way. I acknowledge that my body is now different, but in many ways still the same with the same values, feelings and faults. I will never be the same person I was yesterday, but who will? Each day we learn, we grow, we experience different things which changes what our ‘normal’ is today and will change it again tomorrow and the next day.
I chose the picture of the girl with the mask because when I googled ‘normal’ several pictures came up of people wearing masks. I remember when I used to see people in the street – mostly tourists – wearing a mask and thought they were a bit strange! Who knew they would become the ‘normal’ ones?
Many years ago, I was acting a bit crazy and one of my children said, “You’re not normal Mum!” My reply, “Thankyou my darling, because normal is boring and the last thing I want to be is boring!”
So normal… what is normal…. as a bumper sticker once said, “Normal is a cycle on a washing machine’