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Count your Successes

Though 2020 has been challenging, it's also given an opportunity to examine what we want to continue doing and what to let go of. Despite all the stress, loss, uncertainty, distancing, and difficulties, let's also look back and count our personal growth and successes this year. 

I'll go first: Social distancing left me with lots more time to create. While missing friends and family, I wrote, illustrated, and self-published my first children's picture book and learned to make and post a YouTube video of it. I revised and kept up with this weekly blog, improved my watercolor technique, started teaching myself guitar, learned the ProCreate digital art app for iPad, and learned to teach yoga and mindfulness through Zoom. I stayed in touch with family and friends in new ways, and though I couldn't be with them often, I was able to help some of my grandchildren with their learning. 

It's creating that helped me deal with the anxiety of the year and keep going. One day early on, I even figured out a way to turn newspaper into clean and soft enough toilet paper substitute, just in case (lol, no, I didn't actually try it out; but you can rinse most of the ink out of newspaper quickly, crumple it up, uncrumple, let it dry, cut and roll onto old TP rolls, and it might do the trick in a serious pinch. If nothing else, it quelled my fear of running out of TP. I haven't run out– besides, a simple squirt bottle would probably do the trick easier. So now maybe I'll explore other uses for all that saved newspaper). Beyond physical creativity, and more importantly, I think I've become a little more courageous, a little more resilient, a little stronger even; because though all the uncertainty remains and reminds me daily of my human vulnerability and mortality, I can celebrate that, today, I'm still vibrantly alive and will use my energy the best I can.

Hopefully you, too, can list accomplishments and all the new ways you've found to get by, let go, and be creative with parenting, schooling, working, playing, healing, activism, etc. Even if it was as simple as, "I survived despite the stress" let's all celebrate creatively getting through 2020. 

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