|15 Years Ago
Can it be 15 years since I published my collection of blog entries about turning 50? Not a winner of literary awards, but an accurate time capsule of the things that caught my attention.
I look at the photo of me on the back cover, and wonder what that version of me would say if someone had told her how those 15 years would play out, and how fast they would go by? Six new people have been born to my own children, I found the Love of My Life and have been together 10 years, I lost a job and quite a bit of money in a recession, reinvented myself more than once, discovered a new focus on the importance of laughter and humor, and had lots of personal “adventures” in physical health, mental health, home ownership, work life, family life, love life, finances, friendships, and aging. Some of it has been funny — at least in my philosophy of “today’s disaster can be tomorrow’s funny story” — but some of it not funny at all. In fact, these past few years have, at times, really tested my ability to live on “the Smile Side of Life.”
The CoVID19 pandemic has changed life as I knew it, and I am not sure the changes are temporary. I’ve been “working from home” since March 2020, and don’t see an end to that anytime soon. I’m encouraged by the creation of vaccines, but disappointed in the slow distribution, and lack of confidence some people have in its safety. History may define this period of time as “before masks” and “after masks,” a line of demarcation similar to the Industrial Revolution. And — while only 12 days into the New Year of 2021 — the year has already started off badly, and is reserving the right to get even worse. I don’t anticipate that the recent events will ever become tomorrow’s funny story, at least not during my lifetime. As a mother and a grandmother I feel the heavy weight of these past few years and want to spare my children and grandchildren from the consequences. However, at this point, I am feeling a bit powerless.
|2021 ©Noreen Braman
My best recommendation is to remain aware of what is going on in the world and in our country, but to take mental health breaks. Go outside for fresh air, sunshine, and bird song. Make time for laughter by watching a favorite comedian or comedy. Express gratitude to someone – it is one of the strongest ways to enhance your resilience and happiness. Be present in your daily life, using mindfulness to keep you centered and protected from ruminating too much on either the past or the future. I don’t know what the next 15 years will bring, but let’s do our best to live them to the fullest.