Perspective can be everything. Especially when we expect that just because life is opening up again, normal as we knew it will be the immediate result.

So much of the news cycle has focused on our current expectations: Schools expect students to be up to speed, businesses want jobs filled stat, we want Christmas as it was, food prices as they were — name it, and there is a desire for normal as was.

As a cancer survivor, I have some perspective about how fast a return to normal is possible. It takes a lot longer than one can even imagine, and normal will not be the same. Though I didn’t know that at the time when just a few months from my last chemo session, my body and brain still affected but my hopes high, a response was demanded of me by another, “When will you be back to normal?”

My reply, “I don’t know, I’ve never been through cancer before.”

Perspective: High hopes don’t always mirror reality.

When will we be back to normal?

We don’t know, we’ve never been through a pandemic before.

I do know normal will look different. Some things change everything.

Cathy Aldrich, Shoreline