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42: Contrast

I've referenced "couchtime" before: having a friend or family member chat with me about our lives on the couch in my home without masks or open windows, hugging mugs with our fingers and listening to each other as we describe our lives. I hear tomorrow a covid vaccine will be available for round one.

For today, this brunch email will do.

Contrast is something I normally love and crave and celebrate.

Visually, two opposite colors rubbing against each other.

Musically, a rock band accompanied by violins and cellos.

Taste, bacon and mayo and tomato and spinach. Mmm.

Even in story, contrasting personalities, settings, motivations and results bring such excitement and enjoyment.

Some changes, however, may take years to celebrate, or may never be.

#CoronaLife. #VirusLife. Or if you get sick, #CovidLife. Or death.

What a year it has been.

If this was a fiction story, it would work. High contrast.

Life has changed in ways we would have only read about.

As we saw people in other countries wearing masks as they walked about their city lives, our brain classified the images as phenomenon.

Those stuck in their apartments, making music from their balconies was a nicer contrasting image.

Make-shift morgues in parking lots.

I understand the brain wanting to dismiss it all as conspiracy, as made up overreactions.

It's been a lot.

Covid and Change both start with C.

Daily routines contrast with all the ways life used to be normal.

Mothers perusing aisles at Target, with carts half full, looking for gift ideas for the holiday stockings.

Malls with music and Santa and packed parking lots.

Fresh flowers for centerpieces on long stretched tables set for family and friends for dinners.

If you are from Florida, getting a discounted cruise to Mexico, embarking right after the holidays.

These are the things that I did last December.

But we rise. We ADAPT.

You may have heard: the best time to make big changes in routine is during chaos.

Want to become a runner? Covid.

Changing your diet? Covid.

Getting divorced? Why not?

Having the perspective of 2020 "going wrong," or feeling miserable about the changes, is an option.


I'm reluctant to state this. That there may be Bright Sides.

Two people on my block have lost extended family members who died from the virus.

From the perspective of a mourning sister, that may be a reach. For now.

Maybe our brains do like to make up stories of purpose and benefit to society.


Pharmacy delivery.

More time with your kids.

Story can make us all feel better.

Today's Deep Breath: here's a practical juju nugget, a collective Next Best Decision.

You may have seen the recent gratitude, light and love hashtags on your social media.

Denominations have organized these following the election to counter negativity and bring more joy to the holidays.

Many churches still are not able to meet in chapels.

Despite covid, despite my pending divorce, some of these posts have been uplifting to me.

The genuine, heart-deep ones. Splashes of vulnerability, hearts laid bare for all friends and followers to read.

Not the church marketing, but sharing and connection in a virtual setting.

There's some contrast.

Writing down daily what I am grateful for has been an exercise that has brought stability in a time of upset.

Making a plan for the day has given me a slice of control over an uncontrollable situation.

I admit also, I have been wearing Christmas socks since August. It makes me feel good.

Music plays in the kitchen when I am cooking a meal.

A fireplace crackles on my TV.

If I didn't have to take the tree down after Christmas in order to paint the house, prepping to sell, I would leave it up until summer.

Some of our buffering behaviors, things we used to use to mask our feelings, have been changed. Unless you are a drinker--sales for liquor stores have more than doubled this year.

But leaving for work and staying late, shopping, lunch with friends, movies and dinners out, kids' sports and activities--all of that was a big distraction. What some of us are left with is just being home. With ourselves and those we share a life with.

What kind of life do we want to have? When we look around us, what is extra or unnecessary?

So cheers to pruning our lives and holding those we love a lot closer.

I appreciate you.

Thanks for listening.

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