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As 2020 draws to a close we look back on a year that is like nothing in our past memories.  A year of suffering, loss, sickness, isolation, loneliness and death.  So much hurt, pain and negativity.  And yet, if we look really hard for some small signs of restoration and hope, they are also there amidst the sadness.  

There seems to be a universal chorus right now from everyone around me….”this COVID life is getting to me, and I cannot take it much longer!”   The cumulative effect of this nearly year-long pandemic is wreaking havoc with our emotional health!   I hear from people around me every single day that they are feeling the after-effects of the abnormal lifestyle we have been forced to endure to survive.   My husband and I are no exception to this.   We struggle just like the masses with being separated from our family and friends and leading a new 2020 lifestyle that has tossed out milestone events and special gatherings.  Just like many others, we too have lost our income streams and been on the receiving end of closures due to COVID.   Recently, we also found ourselves alone, just the two of us, at Thanksgiving for the first time in our 42 years of marriage, due to the virus.  Our moods tanked as we struggled to find the “THANKS” in Thanksgiving and being isolated from our children, grandchildren and extended family.  It took us a bit to find our way back to hope and gratitude from this, but we are moving into the light more each day.   We are not alone, I know.   Many people are finding this holiday season difficult this year.  Nothing feels normal and with so much of the spirit of the holiday season being wrapped up in social gatherings, life does not have the same sparkle and joy for many of us right now.

So, how do we find some hope in the darkness right now?   There are no easy answers or “one size fits all” solutions.   Some of the ways I have brought more joy and hope back into my daily routine have come from reaching out to friends and family with calls, cards, letters, and acts of kindness.  This has really refueled my empty tank.  It has increased my zest a thousand times and helped me feel connected to others even if we are not together.   Reframing things also can help inject some hope into the equation.  Finding the bright spots in the overwhelming darkness can turn things around so we view it from a different angel.   Finally, putting a mental time limit on this crazy COVID life we are living helps infuse some optimism into the picture.  We know the vaccine is the game-changer for all of us and it is finally getting ready to make its debut!  GAME-OVER, COVID-19!!!  

We will get there—together!  It has been a very wild ride in 2020 but there is HOPE IN THE DARKNESS and we can see glimpses of that bright light starting to shine through for 2021!

Hang on, take a deep breath, the end is finally in sight and we all can board that train back to what we used to know as our “normal” lives, even if it is a bit of a new normal.



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