No sitcom will ever eclipse the number-one ranking that I give to Cheers. Combining the humor and witty dialogue within a diverse group of characters, loving them more and more each season is easy to do.
When you get into a discussion about the show, people remember Cliff and his cunning ability to find the likeness of famous personalities within a full spectrum of garden vegetables. When people talk about Woody, they tend to describe his hard-working demeanor as a non-big city kid learning about the speed and reality of the big city. When people think about Norm, they remember a loyal patron who was always greeted by everyone when he walked into the bar. I think it is more than ironic that naming this character Norm was the writers, Glen Charles, Les Charles, and James Burrows, welcoming an audience to a story that everyone can relate to. His entrance set the stage for what is considered the norm. Shoot. Even Diane wanted Norm's normal.
What is normal?
What is normal? Since COVID, we all have said or heard the context of back when it was normal. When life hits you right between the eyes, we tend to recall normal by glorifying the value of minimal disruptions. We have politicians who push the nostalgia of returning to a time of normalcy as an attempt to counter the momentarily prescribed chaos. In manufacturing, we find leaders who tend to micromanage to get compromising situations back to normal. The challenge with normal is that you never really know when you are there. However, we seek this mystical and recollected state when times are challenging.
Norm would walk into the bar, and everyone would yell, Norm! A staff member of Cheers would then frame a greeting to Norm or Normie around the context, how is it going today Norm? Each time, Norm would respond with a quip one-liner that accepts the stresses of life with the placebo of a freshly tapped beer. Norm reestablishes his norm as he sits down with a resetting first sip. This habit, even though it is an unhealthy indulgence when in excess, brought clarity to his daily challenges.
"Can I draw you a beer, Norm?"
"No, I know what they look like. Just pour me one."
We tend to realize we are in moments of non-normal when we place an overemphasis on perfection. As life introduces different forms of friction, they are our reality. We could run from these challenges, seek assistance to solve them or face them head-on. We could find ourselves micromanaging through the chaos, waffling through the efforts required to adapt, or delaying a decision to move forward. We can let the stresses compound delay a response versus facing them head-on with our well-trained habits and norms. I am not saying that we should seek alcohol as the constant that gets us back on track. However, if we all find a healthy and productive norm that becomes disciplined through repetition, we can get through everything.
Don't expect to be motivated every day to get out there and make things happen. You won't be. Don't count on motivation. Count on Discipline. - Jocko
This blog makes 100. Occasionally, I would go a few weeks without writing, only to find myself challenged to find something to reflect on. Other times during this journey, I have a profusion of ideas to unravel, and the clarity to transcribe them is fluid. What I have learned most about this blogging experience is that establishing a healthy practice as a norm allows me to overcome daily challenges under the commitment that I have at least one thing that maintains my discipline to move forward. Thank you for the support, encouragement, and accepting this norm.
An often-forgotten fact is that Norm’s real name in Cheers is “Hilary.” Hilary Norman Peterson.