Not only is that not an original thought, it isn’t even my thought. I don’t sleep through the night very often, but learned that having a small breakfast type meal in wee hours, helps me fall asleep afterward. This morning I read, for the first time, that saying, on the package of my favorite version of Thomas English Muffins: “Wake Up To What’s Possible.”

Yikes. I’ve been buying that brand for most of my life, and never noticed that before… Thinking about another saying: “An Ill Wind Blows no Good”, I realized two insights this pandemic year of Gifts (from the past) that came to me that certainly did not seem like gifts, but turned out to be.
Not sure why it took me 20 or more years to realize what a gift having experienced blood clots in my right leg turned out to be. I did realize how lucky I was to have escaped permanent damage from three separate unrelated events, but there was something far more important that I realized very recently.
I never spent time worrying much about the fact that I am definitely a stroke risk, if looked at genetically.   Both my parents suffered different types of strokes in their senior years; a daughter also experienced a minor stroke in her late 40’s.
My insight: being on blood thinner for since my 2005 knee surgery that led to my first diagnosed blood clot has been an unappreciated gift that has protected me from experiencing a stroke!
I used to live in a large condo not that far from where I live now, in which I experienced disability discrimination that made my life hell on earth. After bad luck in Federal lawsuits did not provide relief, despite having the law on my side of the matter, I made a decision to move from a home I loved, for 17 years, because I knew the stress was not good for me. One way of looking at that decision is that I woke up to what was possible. And, that was a good decision.
But, just this month, I realized it was more than that. Yes, I love my new condo; it better suits my current needs than where I used to live. But, in terms of the pandemic, I am far safer where I live now.  In this smaller condo the management is able to enact, and enforce, rigid requirements re masks, only one person in an elevator at a time who are not related to each other.  None of that would have been possible where I used to live: it was just too big to enforce the types of policies that are enforced where I live now.
It’s never too late to Wake Up To What’s Possible…Even without that mantra, looking back into the ill winds of Covid19 restrictions, I realize that my lifelong habit of talking to strangers has led to friendships with some of them, and unbelievable kindness and support from others. I wound up cooking hot meals for the homeless; am currently forming a support group  with a jump-start pro bono offer from a seasoned group therapist; I’m instigating the incoming administration with a proven concept from the 2007-2008 recession: Build America Bonds.
With all the losses that living through a pandemic has brought to me this past year, I find myself thinking ahead into what’s possible, as opposed to finding out many years afterward what was indeed possible.

No one I know disputes that 2020 brought the illest (it is a word) wind in memory.  In so many ways.  Let’s not recount them here. Let’s think instead of the rest of that adage: “It’s an ill wind that blows no good.”  Is there some good that you have salvaged from that ill wind?

Perhaps a lost connection with someone was reestablished. Maybe you discovered deep breathing or Yoga as a beneficial practice. Patience? Humility? Civic involvement?

Help us all by sharing the good you have found. Please tell us here.

And then let’s celebrate that 2020 is finally over, and health, safety, and renewal are just over the horizon.

‘Tis the season to be stalwart = resolute and valiant. We cannot count on knowing anything for sure, how we will be, how those we love will be. Many of us will perhaps try to recreate the essence of our December holiday celebrations knowing all the while that naming the essence this year maybe the hardest part.
We can be the adults in our collective lives who are able to grit our teeth and carry on through good and bad with firmness of mind and unyielding courage. In so doing we’ll find the inner resources to go beyond family and friends to help those in our communities who have been so hard hit. Maybe beyond the wonderful sentiment of love thy neighbor it could become more of a ‘let’s let that love be putting our shoulders to the wheels in our communities to make things better for those we don’t even know. We can staying home, wearing a mask. We can pitch in desperately needed money, food and heat, and can put our hands to work even though our hearts and minds ache to have it all go away. If you have been already hard hit, tell someone about that and tell what you need. Don’t be afraid to cry, you’ve earned our gratitude, devotion and support as you have been going on every day with that unyielding courage. Surviving all this will one day be a badge of honor and we will cherish what we did to make life work for others and ourselves in our darkest hour.
Wishing you strength and power, Jeannie.

Tis the season to PIVOT. What was, is no longer now. The now is a huge, varied, startling, cauldron of changes…some for good, some not good, and some yet to be decided. We have, all generations back, survived these changes and marched forward. Today is no different. We select, embrace, and discard according to our needs. It is no more scary then selecting your dinner from 3 columns on a menu. You consider your tastes, style and even allergies. PIVOT away from the “shoulds and entertain the “what ifs”. Eleven years ago I broke my leg and I could not jump into my SUV and cruise down to the mall, so I did a pivot and tried shopping on the NET. Today I wouldn’t waste my time going ‘out’ to shop. The NET supplies me with anything I need, delivered to my doorstep. Soon my family doctor will be available for a consult on the NET and on and on it goes. No, I will no give up cursive thank you’s or cloth napkins, but then that’s me. Please tell “Chicken Little the sky is not falling.” It is just a little cloudy.