• Toni Maddi

Crappy New Year

January 1st has that odometer feeling to it as the date resets to 01/01. But today is rarely much different than yesterday.

And we all have high hopes for 2021. We long to meet with friends, dine out, go to a movie or a concert. Get our hair cut without wearing a mask. Send the kids back to school (please, in the name of all that is holy, let them go back to school). And probably more than anything else, live without the fear of getting sick and passing it on.

Here it is, January 4th and things are pretty much the same was they were on December 31st. True, there is now a vaccine. But it will be quite a while before the majority of the population is vaccinated. In the meantime, there is a new strain of the virus that spreads more quickly.

How do we hang on to hope when we are so very weary?

As part of my New Year ritual, I listed the highs and lows of 2020. I was happy to find that the highs far outnumbered the lows. My Plus Side included making new friends online, starting a new business, renewing an old friendship, my daughter’s engagement, we took our granddaughters to Universal Orlando before the pandemic hit, I started a Facebook group, and I lost over twenty pounds.

On the Minus Side we had some true lows. My father-in-law died. We put down our old sweet dog, Lulu. My wedding business all but dried up. And, of course, COVID-19.

But tragedy can hit in any year. People and pets die. California has wildfires. If it’s not murder hornets, it’s zika-carrying mosquitos.

Saturday I was feeling sad, almost depressed. I posted an oracle card I had pulled that seemed to speak directly to that sadness and a couple of people commented that they felt the same way. Yesterday I video-chatted with my friend in Manhattan and she sad she’d had about all she could take. I think most of us have. And I have to wonder if it’s because even though we knew that no miracle was going to take place on New Year’s Eve, we still held out hope that somehow one would.

So how do we find out way out of disappointment? How do we avoid having disappointment turn into despair?

First, find a spiritual practice, if you don’t already have one. Yoga, breath or energy work, prayer, whatever connects you to Spirit.

Second, connect with people. Join my Facebook group. Find a pen pal or write a letter to an old friend. Facetime, Zoom, Skype. Set weekly or bi-weekly appointments to chat.

Third, work with this affirmation, “I choose optimism and joy throughout each day. I look to the future with hope and excitement.”

Lastly, do the things you know you’re supposed to. Eat properly. Practice good sleep hygiene. Count your blessings. Exercise. Read. Get outside. Learn something new.

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