It’s been a year since a worldwide pandemic was declared, and society as we knew it went into lockdown. We’ve seen a lot that we never could have imagined in a million years (toilet paper, anyone?) and watched with both terror and sadness as hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans died. 

A couple of months after our world began to change, I wrote a blog called “The Silver Linings of Sheltering In Place.”  In that article, I made a list of some of the positive things I experienced in the first two months of my own lockdown.  I stopped at 20 items, and recently, when I reread the list, I surprisingly discovered that I didn’t want to delete a single item.   And I continue to be grateful.

Now, reflecting over a year of sheltering in place, I’m ready to add to the list.  For starters, I admit that I actually prefer social distancing.  Being of the vertically-challenged persuasion, crowds can be terrifying for me.  So, having some space between me and other people has been a surprising silver lining.

I know that some people are experiencing “Zoom fatigue,” but not me.  I have work-Zoomed, family-Zoomed, friend-Zoomed, and volunteer-Zoomed, and with each virtual connection, I’ve become more and more thankful for the technology that keeps me in touch.  And a special shout-out to those who had previously deemed themselves inept, for figuring it out and, dare I say, enjoying it?  You know who you are — so congrats!

Toilet paper seems readily available once again, but I’m still struggling to use the massive bags of powdered sugar and masa that I was forced to buy when smaller quantities weren’t available.  I’m especially flummoxed by the masa because I have a ton of it.  Any ideas?  If so, please comment with your suggestions.

More than ever before, I now appreciate social media for helping me to at least virtually connect with so many of the people i used to see on a regular basis.  So, thank you to all who share photos of yourselves, your families, your pets, your food, and your gardens.  

A year later, I’m happy to announce that more people (and things) bring me joy than ever before.  Or, maybe I’ve simply honed my joy-o-meter and enabled it to find joy in both the predictable and the improbable places.

I find myself feeling optimistic about a majority of the population getting vaccinated, and I’m looking forward to what our “new normal” might be.  Regardless of the steps we choose to take, or the lane in which we choose to drive, I think we all want to be healthy, and wish the same for everyone whose lives intersect with ours.  Although at times challenging, it makes sense to me to bury unnecessary judgment with the rest of the debris that historians will describe when they write about the year 2020.

I wonder what you’ve observed over the past year.  Please share one or two positive things so we can all smile with you.