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2021 Dec

Go with the Flow

Be kind to the people who matter most.

This month we say goodbye to 2021 and hello to 2022. None of us is sure what next year will be like—are we ever? But with the pandemic lingering on and on and on, it’s as if we’re in a time warp, a place where life feels surreal, almost like we’re in a dream. The question is, when are we going to wake up?

I have news for you, folks. We aren’t going to wake up. I’m no expert, but I don’t think we’ll be returning to life as it was pre-2020. The cat is out of the bag, and our lives will never be the same. Innocence, interrupted.

But this doesn’t mean we can’t cope with the new normal. We humans are a resilient lot, and we’ve survived and evolved on this planet for tens of thousands of years by being adaptable and learning to go with the flow. Even our kids manage to take things in stride. This new normal for us is normal for our youngsters who are coming of age during the pandemic. They’ll grow up wondering why we didn’t wear masks back in the day.

Sure, we can grumble about the masks, the travel requirements, and the need to show our vaccine records before going to a concert, but at a time when so many people have lost their lives around the planet, maybe our energy is better spent feeling thankful for the health and well being of our loved ones.

While we’re at it, let’s show a little more compassion to our fellow humans during this holiday season. Brighten a stranger’s day with a smile. Hold the door open for someone who’s carrying lots of packages out of the store. Let the other guy have the parking space. (Besides, it won’t hurt you to get a few more steps on your FitBit.)

It’s the season of giving, and this doesn’t necessarily mean buying and giving gifts. Think about ways you can give of yourself, your time, and your talents to people who are less fortunate. They say the best cure for depression or ennui is to get involved in a cause that benefits your fellow humans. There are lots of opportunities out there to help others.

December is a good time to reflect on where we are and where we’re going. As you look back on the past year—and make plans for the one ahead, take time with your family to have an old-fashioned conversation about goals for the coming year as well the challenges that your family is facing, collectively and individually. Discuss ways you can make each other’s lives easier. Show compassion to your family members. After all, they’re the ones who matter most.

Finally, be kind to yourself as you face the holiday madness. Don’t worry if you can’t get everything done. The main thing is that you spend time with people you care about. Even better, grab your kids or your BFF and go for a walk in the woods. Bundle up because you know what they say? There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.

Here’s hoping your year ends on a cheerful note. Thanks for reading Tidewater Family Plus and see you in 2022!

Peggy Sijswerda

Peggy Sijswerda is the editor and publisher of Tidewater Family Plus magazine. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction from Old Dominion University and is the author of Still Life with Sierra, a travel memoir. Peggy also freelances for a variety of regional, national, and international magazines.

Website: www.peggysijswerda.com

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