Okay, I’ll admit I tend to be more of a “glass half empty” type of person than an optimist. Just ask my husband, and he’ll confirm that I often worry and stress (needlessly) about what can go wrong instead of what can go right. It’s a shortcoming I have long tried to improve upon, although perhaps all of us should be given a “pandemic pass” when it comes to self-improvement right now. Even the sunniest of personalities have had a hard time dealing with the challenges of navigating this “new normal.”
So how does an admitted pessimist cope during a pandemic? In my case, somewhat better than expected. There have certainly been fears, disappointments and reality checks during the past six months; but if I step back and try to view the positive things that have emerged, there is much to appreciate as well. So here is my “glass half full” list:
For me personally, I treasured the change from an empty nest back to a fuller one. Savoring family time and deeper conversations. Wearing pajamas when I worked remotely. Expanding my cooking, baking and cocktail-making skills. Slowing down to enjoy more reading, binge-watching and game-playing. Zooming with old friends all over the country while finding new ways to reconnect locally. And finally, a call to action: a reawakened passion to fight for what is important and just.
As a society, I have seen the best emerge in our healthcare and other essential workers; they are truly heroes. Citizens are more engaged in the role they can play in a democracy. Ingenuity and creativity have flourished. Drive-in concerts, driveway dinners and online book clubs now exist. Resourceful entrepreneurs have brought us new products, new activities and new ways to adapt. Thus, it has always been this way; with adversity comes perseverance and the drive to overcome our hardships.
As we welcome 5781, may it be a sweet, healthy and meaningful new year ahead for all of us, whichever way we view the glass. Shanah tovah um’tukah.
Jodi Danis is the executive assistant to the AJT publisher and managing publisher/editor.