Believing as I do that the words we use influence the way we experience the world, I have decided that rather than referring to this current situation as a “crisis” I will instead use the word “opportunity.”
I don’t mean to make light of what’s going on. My sunny outlook is entirely situational of course, and not in any way meant to downplay the very real and very serious impact of this pandemic: death, illness, sacrifice, extreme economic hardship, social isolation, anxiety, and more.
It’s just that for me and for many millions of others, doing our part to comply with stay-at-home orders means changing our expectations and our mindsets rather than enduring any actual hardship. Having to work from home, spend more time with my spouse and my cat, wear gloves and maintain social distancing, and watch a lot of Netflix isn’t exactly a crisis. It’s an opportunity.
Like a crocus tentatively emerging through the late-winter snow, I have begun to awaken from the darkness of Impeachment Season, and as the blustery winds of the Democratic Primaries pummel my delicate spirit I search desperately for some warmth which will encourage me to bloom. Fortunately I see some rays of hope, and I turn gratefully towards them. The hope that I cling to is that, like the long dark winter nights, voter apathy is receding into the past.
I have mixed feelings about New Year’s Resolutions. (Naturally. Because I have mixed feelings about pretty much everything.) On the one hand, if you can identify something about yourself that you feel like you can change or should change, what are you waiting for? Why on earth would you wait until January 1st – an arbitrary date on the calendar – to change it? You should start ASAP. Every day is the best day to become a better person, fulfill your goals, live your best life.
On the other hand, there really is something about the new year that makes us want to start fresh. Like the odometer rolling over to 000000; it feels like a brand new car. There’s a new calendar, a blank page, the next chapter of our story is waiting to be written; why not begin it with fresh goals and aspirations. The new year is an opportunity to create a new and improved version of you. So if you’ve got something in mind, then it seems like 01/01 is a pretty good time to start being a better you.
My friend called me today: she was feeling depressed. She had sent both her kids back to college, and she was cleaning up the last of the Christmas decorations. Another Christmas season and another year come to an end.
I get depressed and anxious about plenty of things, but I never thought to be depressed about the holidays coming to an end. Yes, I was sad to ship my kid back to school and I’ll miss her, but she has so many adventures ahead of her this semester that I can’t help but be a little jealous that I’m not 20 with my whole life ahead of me and everything new and fresh and exciting. And a debit card with my daddy at the other end. Skype and Facebook make it so easy for us to stay in touch that I almost feel like I’m with her during her adventures, but without the stress of having to remind her to do her homework or the worry of waiting up when she’s out late.