In Praise (and Pursuit) of “Normal”

Ronna Detrick
5 min readDec 28, 2022
Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

I turned my book manuscript in to my publisher just over three weeks ago. It’s a bit of a shock, given that for the past year, I have had a minimum of two full days per week blocked for nothing but writing (not to mention the 20-some years I’ve been working on this thing!) I now find myself with days that are blank, open, spacious . . . and admittedly, a bit daunting.

Part of me revels in this reality. I (mostly) appreciate that I am not busy, pressured, or stressed; very few demands are placed upon me. When I can stay with it, it feels “normal,” somehow. This is rare, even strange, when compared to how much of my life has been shaped-if-not-defined by exactly these things: busyness, pressure, and stress (as a mom, a single mom, an employee, a laid-off employee, an entrepreneur, and far more hats-worn than I dare count).

“Normal” is in fierce opposition to what our culture endlessly pushes and promotes: messages to respond to, emails to answer, feeds to scroll, exercise regimens to enforce, meal plans to obey, days that are never long enough to get everything done, planners and calendars to purchase, time-management systems to master, success to achieve, money to make, more to buy, more to do, more to become . . .

We live in a world that does not honor, esteem, or support “normal;” rather, it demands just the opposite.

It’s no wonder we struggle to rest, to breathe, to loosen our grip, to *just* be.

Given all this, you can imagine my response to this quote:

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, savor you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.” ~ Mary Jean Irion

As you read her words, I wonder: do you exhale in gratitude? Or do you feel a sense of longing, an “I wish” that rises up within?

Me? I feel a bit of both. I want this to be true — treasuring normal days — AND it feels foreign, sometimes even slightly impossible. I’m way more familiar with the “quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.” Not so much as it relates to a singular day, but the quest for perfection in and of itself. Ugh.

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Ronna Detrick

I work and write on behalf of women and their re-visioned stories. These days you can find me on Substack.