So here we go into 2021, with our seat belts fastened. I wish all of us the best possible luck. Following is a listing of thoughts and ideas that I hope will help you and me remain stable and rational in the days ahead. These ideas come from many sources, mostly books I have leaned on. Perhaps one or two of them will fit your own circumstances.
1. Strive for calmness. I can't think of any situation that is improved by our getting irrational and going ape.
2. RELAX. At last count there were 844 ways to do that.
3. Do not despair. Answers are usually out there waiting. Look for them. Find as many as you can.
4. Regular prayer can lead to surprising benefits, even if you're not signed up with an established deity. I'm a fallen-away Presbyterian, which is fairly low on the religious ranking, but prayer has saved my butt at points throughout my ragtag history.
5. When the night is darkest, try to recall the many tight spots and problems you have already overcome. Somehow you've made it thus far. Isn't that worth pondering?
6. Count your blessings: you're alive, breathing, and in possession of your faculties. You have people who love you or at least like you. You're not addicted to any substance more dangerous than ice cream. Not a bad beginning.
7. Connect with others. Use phone calls, emails, Zoom, friendly waves to passing police cars.
8. Try to make every day count. Don't sit back and drift, as you may have done for so long.
9. Live one day at a time. One task at a time. One dish to wash. One column to write.
10. Limit your TV viewing. Don't be a time-wasting patsy for the tube. It has power over you until you get off your butt and shut it off.
11. Attack your financial situation. Keep track of your money numbers, your income and outgo. Stop being afraid of money. It is not the problem. The problem may be you and your attitudes.
12. Discard your never-to-be worries and install some it-might-just-come-true dreams. It is not too late.
13. Find music you like. Listen to it, play it, including at bed time and day break.
14. Kiss and snuggle up to your husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend. But never at the same time.
15. Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.
16. Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Native American.
17. If you have any problems at all, don't hesitate to shut up.
18. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.