Happy New Year…and may the odds be ever in your favor…

There are times and days and moments when I succumb to a blue mood. Christmas was a wonderful string of family in and out, kids home, grandkid glee and days off. Now it’s over. I can tell because the Christmas lights in our neighborhood, usually lining the street in the morning, are now off. It’s back to the stars for light. Now we sink into the dark, cold abyss that is Cleveland weather for a few months. Then, just when we can’t take it any more, we realize that the days are getting longer. The survivors get to see spring.

A little dramatic? Maybe so. It’s funny but when I am feeling sad, I don’t think of “my favorite things.” I go the other way. I pulled out the Hunger Games trilogy to read and it cheered me right up. I could have chosen the Poseidon Adventure movie, or something in that realm. We watched the Twilight Zone all New Years Day, and Die Hard Christmas day. Rant alert: why on earth would they be playing Die Hard on Christmas? People, just because something happens on Christmas does not make it a Christmas movie. Die Hard, the Harry Potter movies, Sound of Music, are not Christmas movies! OK, my opinion only, I know this is a heated bone of contention and I don’t want to spoil all the good vibes of The Hunger Games.

Here’s the thing…it’s a new year but i’m not sure it matters. I watch the news sometimes. It’s overwhelming, the fighting, terrorism, shootings, kidnappings, and other brutalities in the world. We are able to see them thanks to social media, regular media and ring doorbells, right in our homes. What can we do? I don’t know about you but I feel pretty helpless.

When my students used to feel overwhelmed, I would tell them to read the Hunger Games…no, no I did not, just kidding! I would tell them to start with one sentence, one action, one paragraph. I told them to break it down. Do it step by step. Break it down into manageable chunks and conquer one at a time.

I think this advice helps when we feel like the world is just too much. Let’s break down what we can do. I thought about my own life. When we adopted Chester and the cats, we changed their lives. No, we didn’t solve the problem of stray/homeless animals. But we took a small chunk out of it (very small, I know, but it’s something). By donating to a charity we are helping. Writing a note or sending a card to someone can take away loneliness. Calling someone we haven’t seen for awhile can brighten a day. Do what you can do, what you think is right. You aren’t going to fix it all. But bottom line, in the end we can only control what we do, remember? If we do what is right, then no one can undo the light we have spread.

Let’s make 2020 a better year. Even if you had a good year, I challenge you to make this one better. Make your little part of the world better each week. If there is a resolution, make it an outward one. One step at a time. Think of one thing that you think matters. You know what to do. I think we can make a better year, but even if we can’t, what choice do we have but to try? Sit and watch tragic movies and get more depressed? I know it’s tempting, right? But no. Each of us matters. Personally I will not be defeated, and neither will you. We have only 364 days left in 2020. It’s not enough. But it’s a start Let’s go!

PS: the picture above was taken today. Our dog walker, The Amazing Brittany, takes the best pictures of Chester the dog each day. Every new year I will post a picture from New Year’s day. Enjoy!