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December, 2020

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Every New Beginning

December 31, 2020

Here we are, the last day of the year. Here I am. The end is not really the end. The cycle just continues. Around the circle we go. "Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end."

But let's face it - 2020 has been unlike any other year of our lives, at least for any of us born after World War II. The Covid 19 virus has reset us in many ways. Some of these are good changes. In the grand scheme of things, necessary. We need to face our faults, our weaknesses, our biases, our poverty and recognize that we have often been blind to them. Many before the virus lived every day with their lack, their poverty. So many face insecurities. Maybe more of us can better identify with them now.

As each new year arrives I like to take stock and consider the past, present and future. But my approach is to take life a day at a time so I don’t get too wrapped up in what might or might not happen.

Greatest Gifts

December 26, 2020

Christmas was yesterday. I hope it was good for you. It was definitely different for me and my family. We didn't have the usual large gathering, meal and gift giving. But we did find a way to socially distance ourselves while seeing each other for an hour, outside in the cool but brilliant New Mexico sunshine. The Spirit of the day was with us and we did have a few gifts to share. But it got me thinking about what our "greatest gifts" are.

Here follows, in no particular order, some of what comes to mind.

The gift of a smile and a hug - even if it is an "air" one.

The gift of treats, sweets and a holiday meal - even if packed "to go".

The gift of health - especially in the midst of a pandemic.

The gift of simple things such as seeing family "live and in person" - even from six feet apart.

The gift of breathing - even behind a surgical mask or face covering.

The gift of laughter - one of our greatest natural medicines.

The gift of children grown or "grand" - 8 and 10 are still magical ages, but so too are those I remember at that age now two, three and more times older.

The gift of gratitude - when receiving and even better, when giving.

The greatest gifts are the ones we sometimes overlook or take for granted. Holidays can remind us of that. It's been a tough year, but in some ways we've grown more because of it. Don't give up. Do give.

Covid Christmas
Covid Christmas
December 19 2020

We are into the final days, less than a week now, until the Christmas holiday. To be sure, it's a different kind of Christmas. A Covid Christmas.

Still, the Christmas Spirit is present. Maybe in a more real way because the pandemic has caused most of us to take stock of our lives, to maybe even reset our priorities.

Christmas time for me has always be one of reflection and cheer. I am one of the "Christmas kids", born on December 15, 1955. I was even supposed to "arrive" on Christmas Day, but my parents were surely relieved when I came early. My family already had the improbable conjunction of Christmas birthdays - Dad on Christmas Day, Mom the day after, and my big sister on Christmas Eve. I kid you not!

Do I wish we could all get together, family and friends, to exchange gifts and hugs? Of course. But I know we must still be wise and practice the proper precautions so that we don't spread the coronavirus along with some well-intentioned cheer.

The arrival of vaccines might be the best Christmas present this year. Maybe you won't get the shot by December 25, but they are coming. I personally am very happy my son, an ICU nurse working on a Covid ward (and also a "Christmas kid", born on December 21), received his first of the Pfizer vaccinations yesterday. He's still on the frontlines and treating patients in a currently very crowded hospital.

Our memories of Christmas 2020, the Covid Christmas, will be part of our life experiences. Christmas memories are often ones we remember all our lives. Back in 2007 I reflected on some of my own Christmas memories. You can read that article here.

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