When I started writing 10 years ago, a good friend of mine gave me some advice. He said when you’re feeling really down, try to write about something as far removed from those feelings as possible. Making yourself see the good in the world will help improve your mood. You know what? He was right! Many of what I’d consider my funniest blogs were written when I was at my lowest, yet you’d never know from reading them. To say this year has had low points is quite the understatement, but instead of having to force myself to write about the opposite, I’m finding that the goodness in this world is more easily highlighted in all this darkness.
I have an even more renewed appreciation of my family and friends. I will always believe that it is these connections that are the best invention ever! The random texts, messages, and calls when you least expect them seem that much sweeter and more meaningful. Given all the tragedy this year, the celebrations seem almost triumphant and even more grandiose than they were previously.
It seems that daily I hear of strangers coming to the aid of those in need…and there is so much need right now. So many are making their voices heard, and because of that positive change is on the horizon; I truly believe this. When I see stories like this on the news, it does wonders to restore my faith in humanity. I’ve cried countless times as I’ve watched good triumph over evil.
You see, I could very easily fall into an abyss of despair and let my anger overwhelm me. I could focus on the pain, the loss, the hurt, the unfairness of it all; and it has been all those things and more. Again, that would be easy thing to do. Here’s the deal though…life isn’t easy. As Tom Hanks said in A League Of Their Own, “The hard is what makes it great.” This is a daily and sometimes moment-by-moment decision for me. I’ll admit that, occasionally, I do fall into that abyss of negative emotions, but it allows me a much-needed release. I’m a firm believer that sometimes you just need a good cry. It’s not letting that side overwhelm me that has made all the difference.
So here we all are on the precipice of a new year. If you’re like me, you’ll be saying good riddance to 2020 when the clock strikes midnight on Friday. This year, we’ve all learned a plethora of lessons that I’m sure will stay with us for the rest of our lives. For me, I look at 2021 as if we’ll be stepping outside to blue skies after a terrible storm. Hell, it’s felt like we’ve been whirling around in the Great Red Spot on Jupiter, feeling the whiplash going from one extraordinary event to the next.
What I’ve realized though is that this year has reiterated how much more I appreciate the sunshine after the rain. So many of you have been the source of that sunshine for me, and for that, I’m forever grateful. I hope I’ve been a reason for a masked smile or two this year as well. Until we get to those sunny days I’m sure are ahead, we just need to make sure our umbrellas are at the ready. I know we will all be able to weather what is yet to come, but, in the meantime, let’s find ways to dance in the rain.