There is a lot of talk about boredom, loneliness and being just plain tired of how things are now — and that is understandable. Our new normal has been quite a lifestyle change. And change, on average, is not looked highly upon. But buckle in Crossett, it is our new normal. 

Instead of craning your neck to look at the past,  relax your gaze by turning it inward and then forward. Find ways to honor the new norm. For instance,  keep a structured schedule. For those who still report to work every week day, that isn’t such a challenge. But it can be for those whose work week has been altered in even the tiniest way. Still, get up, get out of bed at your normal time. Get dressed, brush your teeth, greet the day. And make sure you move.

Every Wednesday at 1 p.m., we host a “Wellness Wednesday” Facebook live inspired by the Crossett School District.  We move you through some good for the body moves.  So far we have highlighted Tabata workouts and Pilates. This can be found on the Crossett Parks and Recreation Facebook page either live or in replay from the videos section. 

Another good practice to either keep up or start is acts of kindness. Reach out to a neighbor and just ask how they are doing...really doing. This will have to go beyond that in-passing greeting we practiced as a habit in our old normal. It needs to be the truly invested request of our new normal on how someone is doing because now we have time to listen.  Of note is the fact that often when we listen we are so busy figuring out a response to whatever is being said that we end up only hearing a portion of what is said. Train yourself in this new norm to put your thoughts on hold and simply hear the words of your neighbor. 

Another way you can practice kindness is to adopt a high school senior. There is a Facebook campaign locally where you can adopt a graduating student and offer them gifts, advice and words of encouragement. You can find it under the heading “Ashley County Adopt a Senior 2020”. Thanks goes out to Maleena Bailey for this project.

Also, there is a poster campaign by Tina Morris to blanket the fence surrounding Yarborough stadium. Get in on this. Let’s give our graduating class a huge dose of hometown love. Who knows, it might leave them with such a lasting impression of our cute little corner of the world that they come back to nest. 

Other ways of spreading kindness are civic minded works. Steve’s Body and Frame has started painting our Main Street trash cans to give them a more polished look, Premier Realty has instigated an overhaul of Centennial Park, Crossett’s Joe Sivils has taken on the planters along Main Street with us, the Cherub Alford family is looking into manicuring the Lucas Pond island and Cosby’s Greenhouse and Happy Place Plants and More — along with local farmers Daren Cason and Brandon Martin —have joined the community garden effort at the Crossett Farmers Market. 

You can always jump into the litter pickup effort. Charlotte Hollimon and Rosie Henry are good ones to ask about that — be sure to ask Charlotte about tips of what not to do. 

As you move about our new normal, remember the words of this quote attributed to various people at various times: “You never know when you are making a memory.” Savor the minutes of your life, Crossett, even when they seem unsavory. And go a step further to find ways to make them savory. 

One other idea before you move on to the next page, reader. In the coming days and weeks COVID-19 mandates will relax so we can avoid bankrupting the economy. Make smart choices. Consider your neighbors. And don’t try to jump back to the way things were. Because, that is exactly what they are — the way things were. Take on our new norm so we can all take on tomorrow together. 

As always, call, text or message us ideas on making our hometown more comfortable and inviting. Find us on Facebook at Crossett Parks and Recreation or call us at 870-500 -0303.

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