After nearly two pandemic years, it can be challenging to look forward to 2022 with a sense of hope and optimism. Pandemic protocols are constantly in flux. New and often seemingly conflicting information continues to stream across all forms of media. This continuing pandemic landscape can feel as unstable as shifting sands or ocean waves during a storm.
Like a storm, no pandemic lasts forever. Everything has its time. All the struggles of the present are temporary. No one knows when the pandemic roar will quiet into a seasonal growl, it is not eternal. Studies will continue. Understanding will increase, and vaccines and treatments will only continue to improve. Time, as the adage promises, will heal all “wounds.”
But how does one navigate in the meanwhile?
Since time immemorial, sailors have been navigating by the stars. With no land in sight on a changeable and trackless expanse, the stars remained a constant by which to find one’s way home again. In some ways, these pandemic years are like an ocean, and we have been swept out to sea. If we wish to find our way “home,” we must navigate by our “stars.” Although these stars are not always the same, some are true for many.
Faith: What we believe is central to who we are. These beliefs help us to make sense of the world around us as well as our experiences in it. They can help put even challenging experiences like a pandemic into perspective while offering hope, comfort, and guidance.
Family: We may not always agree with or get along with all our family members. However, the bonds of family are some of the strongest and most enduring ones we experience. With family, we find the shared experiences that help shape our identity as well as ongoing comfort and support.
Future: No matter the challenges of the present, there is always something new up ahead, always a bend in the road around which we cannot see. Another adage encourages us, “Nothing endures but change.” Reaching this future can be as simple as putting one foot in front of the other; that is, it is continuing on each day. Eventually, one day at a time, we will walk out of this together.
As we enter 2022, always remember that everything is temporary. Find your stars, your constants, and step boldly into the new year. All it takes is one step at a time.