I spent some time repairing my love lights last night, because it feels like the way forward in this country starts right here, in our own homes.
So, I choose light and love. As a symbol of that, I dug the very gross spider webs out of my lights, replaced the batteries and a few bulbs, and set the lighted letters back out on my window sill.
Little things can make you feel better when it seems like the world is spinning out of control. Here are just a few:
Write a thank you note, but not just because it’s the polite thing to do. Thank you notes remind you of the good people in your life and the lengths they’ll go to just to make you smile.
Chat with your mom. My own was so delirious with joy yesterday because, with the help of my sister Kathy, she’d nabbed an appointment for a COVID vaccine, that she could hardly contain herself. Her enthusiam cracked me up and her relief at tasting freedom from her pandemic-imposed confinement warmed my heart. If you’re lucky enough to have a mother to pick up the phone when you call (and I know at least four people that have me), go ahead and dial her number.
Take a brisk walk with a friend. According to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a brisk walk with a friend during which you talk about your problems is one of the best ways to keep your brain sharp. I happened to be unburdening myself of my troubles on a brisk walk with a friend when I learned of this medical breakthrough so I was pretty thrilled. Win. Win. Win.
Donate something — money to a cause, food to a pantry, clothes to a community closet, blood, plasma, time.
Invite someone to something — a zoom call, a yard visit, a walk, a chat, a game. People are especially lonely right now and you might make someone’s day with this simple gesture.
Walk a dog. I don’t have one myself, but I run into them all the time and I think they’re like Miracle Grow for a good mood. If you can’t walk one, at least stop and say hello. Those smelly little buggers spread joy.
Give a compliment. It doesn’t just make the person to whom you’re speaking feel good, it also helps you acknowledge cool things.
Read a kid a story. Of course it’s easier when you have one in your home, but we have the technology that let’s you reach out to relatives and friends in the great beyond. I have been following a friend who formed a reading club with her grandson and his aunt and the little trio is already on its second book. The project has allowed all three to feel a little less lonely during these challenging times.
If you have other ideas, please feel free to share them with me. I’d love to hear how you’re turning on your own love lights.