All the Ways You Adapt

This morning during class, I noticed I didn’t notice my mask.

At all.

It’s like I forgot I was wearing it.

The experience made me so happy! In just a few days of teaching in a mask, it became normal. It became a regular part of teaching, just like how I hold the chalk in my hand or pace around the room to make a point. The mask not only didn’t bother me, but it also didn’t demand any attention. It’s just now part of the day.

In psychology, we’d call this habituation. We simply adapt to our surroundings, becoming habituated or accustomed to something. I felt so encouraged by how quickly it felt normal to wear a mask, sanitize my space, use hand sanitizer, and stay six feet away from people. I felt so encouraged because I realized we can indeed continue to live in a COVID-19 world with these kinds of safety precautions.

It’s the same way I feel about how I’ve adapted to a daughter being away at college. It’s only been a week, but I’ve adapted to the new patterns of life with her away from home. It doesn’t feel “normal,” but it feels like the “new normal.”

I’m thankful today for the way God built us to habituate when necessary in order to survive and even thrive. Things we thought we’d never be able to handle become easier over time. Day by day, we habituate.

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