2020 has been a whirlwind on every level. I returned from a book event on Amelia Island in February. I was preparing to relocate permanently to one of my favorite places. Instead, I would be confined to my home and my immediate vicinity for an unexpected and unlimited amount of time. I certainly did not anticipate that it would be impossible to visit with my family and friends, or even obtain routine household items. Who could have envisioned that mundane appointments for haircuts, medical, and dental exams would be curtailed? But here we are, with the holidays upon us and the end of the year approaching. The holiday havoc with COVID-19 may be our definitive test.
All of us have been burdened by the stress of dealing with COVID-19. The year 2020 has bombarded us with more challenges than we could have ever imagined. We had no opportunity to ease into the changes that were imposed upon us. We had no time to adapt to remote working and learning. With little or no warning, we suddenly discovered ourselves unable to visit or care for loved ones who lived outside of our own home and hurriedly worked to develop makeshift plans. Too many times we found ourselves or our family members unexpectedly ill or lost to this demon virus. It has been an ongoing thunderstorm of restrictions, regulations, modifications, and change.
Yet, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” Perhaps that silver lining will be the special gifts we remember and share this holiday season. We may find consolation in the knowledge that we have developed stronger connections with those in our immediate vicinity. It may be comforting to remind ourselves of the satisfaction we have rediscovered in the simple pleasures that surround us. We uncover solace knowing that those we hold most dear remain in good health. We delight in the unexpected moments we were able to share with children and grandchildren resulting from abrupt changes in schedules. We smile as we share glad tidings via ZOOM or FaceTime when we had no prior knowledge of such possibilities before the pandemic.
I have seasonal wall art that reminds me, “Blessings are all around us. We just feel them more at Christmas.” I believe that the silver lining of the coronavirus has been the opportunity to take notice of the blessings that surround us in the world we had taken for granted. We have had many occasions to experience gratitude over the last difficult months. The holiday season is now upon us and offers an additional chance to embrace the blessings that remain.
I do not use the word often, or lightly, but I pray that you and yours remain safe and healthy as the holidays approach. We have certainly been tested and must continue to have the strength to rise to whatever we will be called upon to do next. Take care of yourselves – and one another – and heartfelt wishes for a joyful holiday season.