Good advice for the new year from my younger sister who tends to find these months of winter depressing in the best of times.
And I’ve sort of fallen into a new year’s resolution to help with positivity.
Because of being so slammed for time for much of the year on top of the pandemic restrictions, I was not in touch with people as much as I felt I should be.
Which created anxiety that I didn’t need.
So Christmas Eve and very early Christmas Day, I sent out a holiday email to those people in my address book who meant something to me, in all somewhere north of 100 individuals. And yes, they were mass emails but at least I blind-copied everyone so I wouldn’t inflict replies on the rest.
But I’ve had the most fabulous week reading responses from over 30% of them. And more keep trickling in.
OK, there were a few “Happy holidays to you, too” rote responses. However most landed in my in-box with thoughts about where things were for them, feel-good thank-yous, and starters for new conversations.
Talk about an effective anti-depressant!
So I’m going to make an effort to reach out to a couple of friends a week.
It’s certainly a lot cheaper that paying for a 50-minute hour on a psychiatrist’s couch and will have less negative side-effects than the expensive new feel-good drugs being touted on our TVs.
How about you?
Although my resolution may uplift my life and those with whom I connect, you can choose to do something more altruistic.
Volunteer work that feeds your soul and benefits others – working with the Budget Advocates, helping at a food pantry, assisting new Americans to improve their English, learning how to navigate online applications, and then sharing that skill with others, even passing along recipes for pandemic Zoom parties.
And one more resolution for this coming year, let’s look at where our interests intersect with other people, not where they differ.
Pass it on. Pay it forward.
(Liz Amsden is an activist from Northeast Los Angeles with opinions on much of what goes on in our lives. She also writes on behalf of the Budget Advocates’ mission regarding the City’s budget and services. In her real life she works on budgets, for film and television, where fiction can rarely be as strange as the truth of living in today’s world.) Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.