“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if we remember to turn on the light.”
Those are the words of J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series. Unlike the books, her words don’t refer to wizardry, but to magic of a different kind: the ability to find the light even when fate seems against us.
Easy for Rowling to say? After all, she’s one of the most successful – and wealthiest – authors in the world. But it wasn’t all that bright for her years ago. She was a single mother struggling to survive, when her life changed. It wasn’t a wizard who did this. It was Rowling’s courage and determination to achieve – and her refusal to give up even after a dozen rejections from publishers.
I hear such a wide range of reactions to this Covid time. One former friend informed me she was miserable, adding, ”I’m sure you’re miserable, too.” Obviously this all-or-nothing negativity doesn’t help. On the opposite side there’s one of my students who lives alone (a challenge in itself), but said of the recent holiday: “Let’s all try to embrace Thanksgiving.”
I swing back and forth between both ends of that spectrum. I could view the Pandemic though dark glasses and say how painful it is to be unable to visit my children . Or I can value the increased phone calls and closeness based on our mutual realization that life these days is more precarious than ever. It’s we’re-in-this-together closeness I’m finding with friends, too. (I also bless the technological gift of Zoom.)
I can curse the huge challenge of marketing my new memoir, when in-person book talks have become rare. Or I can find other ways to make people aware of the book (e.g., this blog)! I can also see that I have more uninterrupted writing time than I‘ve ever had. No taking time off to meet friends for lunch, since no one’s going anywhere.
Of course , I’d far rather be living in what used to be “normal” times, But since I can’t I can decide to live this “new normal” the best ways as possible. I can’t go to a movie or eat in my favorite restaurant, and the traveling I’d planned is on hold. But there’s another aspect to this waiting time. It provides a mental and emotional space to catch up with ourselves, to realize we don’t have to run-run-run and do-do-do. We can be quiet for a while (turn off the TV news!) and become acquainted with who we are and what we want and how we can bring some light into our lives. The answer may be different for each of us, but the power to ignite that light is in our own hands
BOOKS: COME and GO – available through BookBaby.com, Widow’s Walk –iUniverse.com; Turning Toward Tomorrow –Xlibris.com, Ten Women of Valor and Role Play-bothavailable throughCreateSpace.comand Amazon.com;also Amazon Kindle.