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Letter from the Editor: Navigating Another Christmas ... And a New Year with COVID

Don't let COVID-19 be the Grinch that stole Christmas

Even if you are not ready for the day, it cannot always be night.  ~“Praise God,” song by Kanye West 

Happy Holidays BK Readers!

It’s December, and soon we’ll be celebrating another rotation around the sun!

Usually, this is the time of year we give ourselves permission to slow down, gather with loved ones and reflect upon the net gains (and losses) of the last 365 days. It’s also the time we forgive ourselves for falling short of the past year's goals. We replace them with a new set of goals and imbue them with just enough optimism to get us excited around starting over.

So, BK Readers, are you ready? Are you ready to jumpstart a fresh new year? 

Wait, did I see an eye roll? And did I hear a few grumbles and sighs, “whatevs,” and “not reallys?” ...

If, this holiday, you've found yourself feeling like the Grinch; a little edgy, grumpy and overall not about that "Christmas spirit" life, let me just say, I totally get it

The holidays may not feel as joyful as usual this year for many reasons, most of which have to do with this unbelievably unrelenting pandemic. As case numbers increase in the U.S. and concerns around the Omicron variant begin to accelerate, it’s hard to feel excited about this past year nor the year ahead.

It’s as though we’ve been walking in place for two years. For every 100 steps forward, we take 99 steps back.

And who, after all, wants to celebrate what feels like an uninvited house guest who's overstayed his visit and is now hinting he plans to move in for good? 

That's what this pandemic has done to us: poisoned our optimism; assassinated our will to plan ahead… Because, why plan if you don't know what's in store for your future? And with so many things racing ahead of usâ€" climate crisis, virus variants, Elon Musk into spaceâ€" and racing backwardsâ€" reproductive rights, voting rights, music and culture (to the 90s)â€"  who knows in what direction we’re heading anymore?

But the truth is growthâ€" real growthâ€" is not smooth; it is volatile; And the journey there is not a direct line: It is an up-and-down, back-and-forth, stop-and-start process. 

So if ever there was a takeaway from this topsy turvy life we’re living right now, it is that we are growing. The volatility is proof. Now it’s just our turn to trust the process. Having faith means letting go of all expectations. Does that mean we should not continue working towards our goals or fighting in what we believe is right?

No. It means letting go of the need to control the outcome. It means putting in the work and having faith that what is supposed to happen will happen. By letting go of that need to control the narrative, you make space for just enjoying the NOW. 

As you close out this year, try this fun exercise: Write down the top 10 things you’ve learned in the year. Warning: This isn’t an easy exercise. It requires you to be very still and reflect. But spoiler alert: You will feel 100 times better at the end of it!

Try it. After this exercise, get ready for 2021 to suddenly become meaningful. And what’s better, you’ll probably get excited about jumping into the next. 

Here are my ten. In 2021, I learned:

  1. How to make vegan baked goods with no eggs (replace them with flaxseed meal and water)
  2. All about crypto currency
  3. All about gain of function research
  4. How to produce movies and videos in Adobe Premiere Pro
  5. How to accept rejection and happily keep it moving!
  6. How to have opposing ideas on the pandemic with someone you love very much and still remain in a healthy, happy marriage. 
  7. How to start a not-for-profit business. 
  8. The importance of fact-checking, regardless if it is your trusted news source.
  9. The importance of keeping my doctors’ appointments
  10. That morning meditations, for me, are better than therapy (and coffee!)

Now, it’s your turn: Take stock of what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown. You made it through another year!! Then celebrate by doing something that makes you feel good! A bubble bath maybe? Chocolate chip cookies? A glass of wine? Binge-watching a random cable series? 

Let go of expectations, and appreciate your now! Because even if you are not ready for the day, it cannot and will not always be night. 

Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year! 


C. Zawadi Morris, Publisher, The Brooklyn Reader

P.S. On behalf of all of us here at The Brooklyn Reader, I want to say “thank you” to all of you, our BK Readers, old and new!!! Although all of our journalists and managers and web developersâ€" everyone behind this news operationâ€" are passionate about what they do, it is you, our readers and supporters that remain the wind beneath our wings. You are appreciated!! 

2022, Here we come!!