Winter solstice began at 2:02 a.m. It is the shortest day and longest night of the year, when the Sun is at its lowest daily maximum elevation in the sky.
From this point on, the days will be getting longer. Symbolizing hope, change, and a path forward from 2020.
The Great Conjunction
Weather permitting, go outside an hour after sunset (5:30) and enjoy the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. Look toward the Southwestern sky.
Winter, the holidays, the pandemic… Maintaining hopefulness is more challenging than ever. We know the vaccines are coming, but they aren’t an instant cure-all. What can we do at home, in our personal lives, to boost our well being?
Ways to Stay Positive
- Reach out to family and friends. Call, FaceTime, watch TV together on Sling, or play an online game.
- Meet new people. Download NextDoor, a free, private social networking app for neighbors. Introduce yourself and reach out to others with the same interests. Find things to buy or sell. Get suggestions on local businesses or to-go food from neighborhood restaurants.
- Go outside. Walk, hike, bike. For Portlanders the Lan Su Chinese Garden is a special place to visit in the rain, something the garden specifically encourages. And Lan Su is open! Just wear a mask.
- Plan a day trip. Make a lunch, gas up the car, and drive. We’ve all been cooped up and each of us is over it. But no matter where you live – especially in our state – there’s a great place to visit within a one or two hour drive. Why not hop in the car and go? Mask up if necessary and shy away from crowds.
- Find a new do-at-home activity. Etsy is a great place to buy inexpensive DIY craft kits. Go beyond your comfort zone. Revisit a lost or neglected skill or try something new. Have fun. It doesn’t matter whether it “turns out” or not.
- Do something to brighten someone’s day. If you’re of a mind, Pay It Forward the next time you’re in line for coffee or make a neighbor smile. Cut sprigs of greenery, tie up with ribbon, yarn, or twine, make a loop, then hang on front doors. Herbs like Rosemary or small branches from evergreens work well for this.
- Volunteer for one of the many Oregon pro bono programs.
- Thank people you appreciate – nonprofits, colleagues, grocery clerks. Say it, send it, make a day of it. Criticizing is easy. I do it too. But don’t forget appreciation.
All Rights Reserved 2020 Beverly Michaelis