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  • Writer's pictureBrynn Paulin

Getting By. Finding Light.

At the end of 2020, literally on December 31, I asked my reader group to tell me something good that had happened to them in 2020. There was a reason for that. My entire Facebook feed was filled with people bemoaning how horrid the year was and how glad they were to see it over.

It was bad. Many people lost loved ones and friends, jobs, security, faith in our government and in people in general. We lost plans, opportunities to travel and to even see people. I lost a beloved dog. We lived through days filled with uncertainty and even fear.

And though we always have lives filled with uncertainty every day of our existence, we were more acutely aware of it in 2020.

So I asked people to tell me something good from the year. I was overwhelmed by the responses. It was almost as if people were just waiting for someone to say: tell me something good.

The past couple days, if you read my posts, you probably saw me use the word joy a few time. I spent a lot of time finding joy. Let me back that up... In late February and all of March, I spent a lot of time fearful and sad. That's when our dog was diagnosed with kidney failure and we subsequently lost her. But it was also when COVID-19 was exploding across the United States. And everything changed.

I decided I could live in fear or I could live in hope and joy. I made a decision NOT to talk about COVID on my social media posts or in my books. Even my book Quarantined With My Ex never mentions it. I stopped writing about it, except infrequently, in my journal because I refused to let it take over my life.

That's not to say that I didn't wash my hands a lot, come up with a routine for anytime I went anywhere (masks and hand sanitizer...lots of hand sanitizer). I am the last person to ever say don't take this seriously. I do.

That is small compared to the light I created for myself.

I learned to take solace in a gratitude practice, taking hour and a half walks with my dog, and my writing. I wrote A LOT of books last year. Part of that was because it was an outlet. Some authors couldn't write last year. I was at it constantly.

I created playlists on Spotify that made me happy. I talked to my dogs more. I started to meditate. I learned Spanish. I started a card writing practice. It's not uncommon now for people in my life to just get a card out of the blue.

I figured out that DVRing the Macy's Parade is better than watching it in real time. I appreciated that I got to relax on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve because I wasn't running in thirteen directions getting ready for family. Am I glad that this year that won't be the case and there will lots of hugs? Heck yeah.

Mostly, I tried to be happy, make people laugh and give them a little sunshine. I made changes that I never want to undo.

I learned to look for a bright side. To find joy. Joy isn't the state of being constantly happy. It's a state of peace.

Wishing you the best and all the JOY, loves! Talk soon!




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