What’s Normal?

The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well – Alfred Adler

 Have you ever stopped to think about what normal is, how it’s defined and who sets the standard? I returned home yesterday from a four week trip to Seattle and am anxious to get back to some sort of normalcy, but upon reflection I am not sure what that is.

Carne Asada Street Tacos: Pure and Simple The problem with defining normal lies in the state of flux that I currently find myself in. Living one day at a time sounds all well and good, but the practicality of the notion can be a little daunting. I tend to be a person of action. If you have something that needs tackling or a plan that needs creating, I’m your gal.  Sitting around (figuratively, of course), patiently waiting for life to unfold without any notion of what is around the bend is tantamount to torture for this get ‘er done kinda girl.

Carne Asada Street Tacos: Pure and Simple In my mind this is what everyone expects of me; have a plan, prepare for the future and leave nothing to chance. All worthy ideas I have subscribed to for most of my life. But something has changed for me, deep down in my soul. I feel I am being called in a different direction and that the normal I have stood upon for all these years has been pulled out from underneath me. A little disconcerting at best.

Carne Asada Street Tacos: Pure and Simple I recognize that I am going to have to reinvent normal to fit the new set of circumstances I am currently living in and not get too caught up in what others have defined normal to be. My normal is different from what it used to be and I’m pretty sure it’s different from what your normal is. The point being that I, as an individual, get to define what normal is because there really is no normal.

Carne Asada Street Tacos: Pure and Simple Today I am going to to put aside the notions and expectations I imagine everyone else has of how I should live this life and begin to live my own normal. 

Carne Asada Street Tacos: Pure and Simple Growing up as I did in San Diego, frequent trips were made to Tijuana, Mexico and Rosarito Beach just  south of the border. The best thing ever was the little vendors plying their wares and the Carne Asada Street Tacos that were on just about every street corner in the city. I developed this recipe with those simple and delicious street tacos in mind.

Carne Asada Street Tacos: Pure and Simple

Carne Asada Street Tacos

Carne Asada Street Tacos shared with:

 Cunning Ladies’ Friday Party *A Dish of Daily Life: Foodie Friday *In the Kitchen With Jenny: Foodie Friends Friday *The Pink Sprinkle: A Wholesome Bunch


  1. says

    Hi Shari,

    So very nice to meet you!

    I left my entire extended family, great friends, and a good job in the advertising department of one of Canada’s national newspapers to follow my new husband back to Crete after we had agreed that we would live in Toronto; the winters weren’t agreeing with him, he didn’t speak English, and found it difficult working for others in a recession hit Toronto, when he had his own, then thriving, contracting business here in Greece, back in 1988. I am torn between two countries and have never felt completely ‘normal’ about this situation, and especially now, since my only child, who is now a young lady, is living and working in my hometown, while her mother is living in hers, across the very big pond. Five years ago, I consciously decided to simplify my life, my thoughts, my daily routine, enjoying the here and now, whatever and wherever that may be.

    So enjoyed your post today and your delicious recipe and photos of this tasty Mexican medley!

    Thank you for visiting Poppy View and have a wonderful day!

    • says

      Thank you for sharing. I can only imagine the difficulty of finding your balance in this situation. Kudos to you for recognizing the need to live in the here and now, no matter how difficult the situation might be. My heart goes out to you. Both of my children are far away from me as well. My son is working in Japan and my daughter on the opposite side of the country. We do stay in touch but it is not the same as living close where I can reach out and touch them now and again. Life never happens in the way we expect does it? I am so glad you stopped in and said hello. I look forward to our future interactions!

  2. says

    Thanks for linking up this yummy recipe with us! I liked it so much…that I included it in my recipe roundup!!! See ya next #FoodieFriday!

    • says

      I know what you mean. Since I have started blogging full time I am like a crazy woman working 10-12 hour days. I know I can’t keep this pace up forever, but I love it! Trying to find my normal in all this. One day at a time, I guess.
      Thanks for stopping by Michelle. It is a pleasure getting to know you better.

    • says

      Thanks Michelle. Street taco’s were a much enjoyed food growing up in San Diego. I have great memories associated with them. The cilantro and onion sends me over the moon. I am happy to see someone else enjoy them too.

  3. says

    Right now, I am so confused trying to find my ” normal” but somehow my judgement is usually affected through other people’ s kind of normal. So it gets difficult. Hopefully I will get there and really be able to have my own identity and live peacefully – right now, this is the most important….
    Thank you for entering this meal to the Cunning Ladies’ Friday party. This looks so delicious.

    • says

      Figuring out “normal” as some type of gold standard is a dead end I fear. I love your thought about having your own identity and living peacefully. I think that sums up what “normal” is perfectly. It is A fluid, ever changing, growing sort of process within us. I would hope my “normal” today is far different than what it was last year and that I have the courage to stop letting others define for me what that is. Some days I’m successful.

  4. says

    Another southern California girl! I grew up in Laguna Niguel and graduated from Dana Hills High School and moved to Boise in 1993 and yes, I do miss those amazing tacos! As for you pondering on what is “normal” … I too gave up on that long ago. I left a cushy corporate gig in 2004 to be home with my newborn son and help my husband manage our seasonal, small landscape business. A risky move .. but ten years later we haven’t starved yet (even paying for our own health insurance!) I homeschool my son in the mornings and allow him to attend public school in the afternoons – a situation that works out perfect for our family but somewhat confounds the local homeschool community and the public school staff (although all of the teachers have been just awesome). When our budget allows we don’t buy “toys” – we love to travel and experiment with wine and food. So, no, we certainly are not normal but it’s comforting to know that neither is anyone else!

    • says

      Stacy, you are a woman after my own heart! Our philosophies in life are so similar. Tim and I also love to travel whenever we have the time and opportunity to do so. I see it as a privilege to view how others live, eat, and play elsewhere. I relish the opportunity to immerse myself into a different culture, even if only for a brief period of time. To see through new eyes an alternative way of doing things opens up new perspectives and enriches me greatly in the process. At these times, more than at any other, I am convinced of the truth that there is no “normal”. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Liliana Wells says

    I am 60 and I gave up on “normal” a long time ago. You are right “The point being that I, as an individual, get to define what normal is because there really is no normal.” If I were a flag in the wind, then I would be influenced by everybody’s opinion. Been there, done that when I attended in a liberal college. Thank God my husband was and is much more calm than I am. The only conscience I have to appease is my own and let God be my only guide. Have you ever been in an office environment where some people work more than others have? A co-worker once said to me “why do you work so hard? Slow down, nobody else does it that way”. The point is, that is/was my standard.

    On the other hand, I ask myself if I respect the person who is criticizing me. Most of the times the answer is no. My husband is probably the only one I ever listened to because is my priority, but also because I respect him. Ultimately, if I may give you a piece of advice, do what you think is right or normal. Probably you think that when you are faced with situation, you should do something about it. The unfortunate truth is we can’t solve anyone else’s problems. You can guide people by showing them what you did or are doing – that’s your normal. But if someone wants to sit on the couch all day long and not do a thing, let them. That is their normal. You just don’t have to participate.

    My husband says, “Set goals that please you”; otherwise, you will be that proverbial “flag in the wind”. We don’t know your circumstances, of course. If you have to work outside the home, you can still be in the world, just not be of the world. Does that make sense?

    • says

      Yes Liliana, that makes sense. I am working on this truth. Knowing I need to live by faith and actually walking the walk is a work in progress for me. Thanks for your steady encouragement.


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