Losses of all stripes occurred in the terrible, terrible year that was 2020. I won’t foist the Gratitude thing on you here, or brightside the pandemic. But we’re in an interesting phase now – of leaving a nasty past behind while imagining the future. To slash through this period of straddling two vastly different landscapes, coinciding with both post-holiday doldrums and the worst cabin fever since the dawn of man, I recommend frequent, sane-making laffs. Then: we prepare for take-off. Game?
Tips for the last of the Weird Dark Tymes:
- Go outside. Bracing! Vault into another mood. Woodland creatures intrigue.
- There is unused winter clothing in your house someone else needs.
- Know that people worldwide are cracking up. A colleague said, “We are all tired of being inside with the same people and we are losing our minds.” This was 6 months ago.
- Use your library. Apply the balm (or catalyst!) of books (on tape?), music, movies, poetry, art.
- Crinkle your eyes so passerbys get the smile behind your mask. Do the nod.
- Toss or give away one thing a day. Beats making a big chore out of it.
- Organize a drawer a day. Save the disaster drawer for last. Or just leave it.
- Create passwords that amuse you. I like ValuedCustomer, which is how robocallers address me. (“Is Valued Customer at home?” Noper!) Or Youhavewon$1million. Or CertifiedFinalist.
- Do something nice for someone without letting on who did it.
- Remember 3 good things that happened in 2020, then smack it goodbye.
- Try Mo Rocca’s book, Mobituaries. Funny, informative. Thomas Paine, Sammy Davis Jr. and codpiece parts: A+.
- Or fiction: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. Laugh out loud, with dark mystery.
- Check out Z Dogg, a cool Bay Area doctor who talks Things Covid, including how mRNA vaccines work. Cheering!
- List what you’ll do once normalcy returns. Keep adding to list.
Other ideas: Most people now use digital calendars. Oldsters use paper. I have 20 years’ of small, heavily scribbled Hallmark calendars (Belmains had them, sniff sniff!) that I plan to peruse, then chuck. I’ll be proud (“I did all that?”), mystified (“Who’s Bob M.?”), while noting with detachment a lifetime of overscheduling. I’ll make a timeline of my life, because I never recall what happened in which year (easier for people with children, who do the reverse math). I’ll call this my Life Timeline. Lifetime Line. Time Lifeline. What?! Won’t you join me?
I’ll revisit my Happy Box, into which I throw things in that will make me happy later. A drawing from a child, a festival wristband, something found on the street, a thank you note from someone I don’t remember (Bob M.?) for something I did that the note does not explain — but so nicely worded, who cares? I rarely pull out the Happy Box, but when I do: solid gold. Stuff from people no longer on this plane … I’ll cry and go to bed early. I’ve moved this thing with me 15 times since 1989 for a reason.
Resolve This: As I suggest yearly, rather than making a painful list of New Year’s resolutions, list instead what you did in 2020. Bonus this year: you get to include TV viewing. The point is to feel good, not bad. Were there things you meant to do but didn’t? That’s what 2021 is for, darling. If you resolve to live healthier (yawn), do extra bad stuff before the purge. You know, gas station meats. Ramen Pride. A can of Coke. Meisterbrau.
I wish you all the luck in the world going forward, and send Dear Reader cosmic intergalactic vibrations drawn from the future when all of this crap is far, far behind us. There will be live concerts and comedy. Spectator sports. Working From Office. Broadway. Art openings. Camp. Travel. Movie theaters. State Fairs, New World Festival, Tunbridge World’s Fair, Wassail Parade. Weddings and funerals. Contradancing and chorus. Church and chimichangas. Everyone will go nuts. It will be a banner year.
Limber up. Prepare for launch. It’s coming, eventually. Good day.