Cautiously Optimistic, Week 43 in the Time of Coronavirus
Is this really a Happy New Year? Yes, we survived 2020. And, yet, recalling how happy we were to be in a new decade just a year ago, we are constantly reminded of the unexpected turn of events in March.
In this first weekend of the new year, we take stock of the meaning of “hindsight is 2020.” Relieved that 2020 is behind us, our memories are raw from all we witnessed, and all we faced personally. I now know the impact of ongoing stress on my body and mind. I am just beginning to understand what is required to sooth myself and support others going through the intensity of extreme tension. Sometimes it means reaching out and caring for someone, taking the attention off myself. Other times it means paying close attention to what I need, whether it be a nap, meditation, or another episode of Law & Order.
I am appreciative of the laughter brought to me by New Yorker cartoons, silly memes, posts on social media, and absurd memories with my sister, Sharyn. I have grown to love the color of the sky as I walk through the city streets and parks. I am grateful to my grandfather, Sam, who watched nature shows like The Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. Though I was bored as a child who preferred to see The Jetsons in those early years, now that I’m his age from that time, I appreciate the pleasure of seeing animals in their natural habitats on the small screen.
I have chosen not to make any resolutions. I am not resolving to be better in any way. Yes, I will work on bettering myself, but that remains a daily practice, one with many pitfalls, and flawed attempts. And, this year, much like last year, I will pick myself up again, and again, dust myself off, and slowly move ahead. If I remember I will look up at the sky in child-like wonderment. A moment of awe whatever year it might be.
Go gently into 2021, step by small step.
- Alternate self-care behavior. This way you find what works best, and what you need in different situations.
- If and when you feel aches or pains, touch the area with care. This is not a substitute for medical care, please attend to that. This is a small gesture that affirms the healing power of touch.
- Rather than thinking of all you will do in 2021, think of what you will no longer do. Find the joy of saying no thank you to one or two “shoulds.”
- Lower your expectations. We’ve lived with a lot of disappointments this past year. Lowering our expectations allows us to take in and act on what comes our way.
- Try something new, or try anything you’re not good at, like a new recipe, trying your hand at poetry, or learning a new language. It helps us to develop humility.