As I write the very last entry, I can’t believe that I’ve spent a full year looking for “silver linings”.
This all started because a newspaper columnist asked an off-the-cuff question: has anyone seen anything good come out of this pandemic? Without hesitation, I immediately typed back four things that I’d noticed in our lives.
The funny part? I noticed that I felt better after writing them down.
I decided I’d do it again the next day. And then maybe for a week. Or to the end of the month.
I sent them to the newspaper as a column—and people went out of their way to tell me how much they needed to hear something positive during such a difficult time. It wasn’t just me who felt energized after finding “silver linings” when everything else seemed out of control.
Some days’ entries have been a true joy to document. I’m smiling as I recall the cow pasture cookout. The hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The weekly doggie playdates with friends, even if the temperatures were below freezing and we looked like a group of Michelin men with our multiple layers.
Sometimes the silver linings were poignant, like the story one friend shared about learning to “lean into grieving” or the times I’ve realized that being forced to slow down in life was a good thing for me.
Some have to be called downright goofy. (I wrote about scraggly hairstyles and toilet paper, remember?)
And then there were other nights when I struggled mightily to find something that I could truly call good, especially when the surges hit and the death numbers swelled. I have included those mounting mortality numbers at the end of each month because I don’t want to overlook the pain that many have suffered.
While I was writing, I stumbled across a quote by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. He seems to have been an exceptionally wise man, because his one statement sums up everything I spent the last year learning:
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
For the past 365 days, I’ve been given a gift of constant mini lessons of finding the good in the bad. It’s been the ultimate “silver lining”.