Turning on the Light: Where We Can Find Happiness



“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”- Albus Dumbledore


Those words read so true and yet aren’t we all tired of having this conversation. Today I sat with a friend on my front porch and talked about the future. We talked about his engagement, Scarlett’s health, the efficacy of DoorDash, and of course the pandemic. This friend is actually a former student, I threw out of class weekly, sometimes daily. But he grew up to be a contributing member of society who’s working on the front lines as a paramedic. When the vaccine came out he raised his hand and said “me first!”


I said give it to me straight, can I go to Disney in August? He said maybe, September or October would be better. He said I don’t think they’ll give it to kids, I think they’ll bank on herd immunity which will happen this summer if enough people agree to take the vaccine. Biden bought enough we’ve just got to get them into people’s arms. But Bug (AKA my cousin Sarah) reminded me tonight that it’s still just hope and we need to remember nothing is written in stone.


I’ve written half a dozen posts on this subject. Specifically, this one on the journey into the unknown. I talk about my travel agent, Christina, as the bringer of joy. But she’s also fraught with dangerous unfounded hope. I mean, she’s not but my enthusiasm that it will end is. Did my paramedic friend do the same? It’s not their fault I am searching for joy. That I have BAD pandemic days. That sometimes I break my fast, because I need that caramel macchiato to lift my spirits.


Just after having lunch with my friend, I had seen my doctor, who confirmed that a thyroid problem was impacting weight loss and that my finger is probably not broken but has arthritis damage, that may or may not be reversible without surgery. So yeah that was fun. But I just can not write another post on how miserable pandemic life is. But but but, the schools, and the lack of vaccine appointments, and the problems with the PPP. God, why does it keep going?


Dumbledore says, turn on the light, so lets do it. The following is a list of 15 things that bring me joy (not in any order):


  1. The random moments I get with Scarlett in between classes because she’s learning from home.

  2. Starbucks Lattes, we have a new big Starbucks, with a drive through in my town, it’s amazing. Plus my favorite barista from the one in the Giant works at both! He knows what temperature I like my Americanos, which is what I am drinking when I fast. My neighbor goes every morning so all I have to do is ask.

  3. My pandemic book club and it’s themed cakes. This goes hand in hand with making some new friends, be it through book club or bible study.

  4. Getting closer to people I loved before, who now I call my ride or dies. The other night Bug, literally let me screen share for hours while I ran Touring Plans for Disney.

  5. Virtual wine tastings with my husband. Plus our new wine club subscriptions. Instead of eating out we drink fabulous wine at home. Throw in doing wine tastings for my friends and their friends.

  6. Making friends who live so close we can walk and never worry about drinking and driving. Who have teenage boys willing to get into snowball fights with Scarlett just because.

  7. Planning wardrobes for trips I may never get to take. Ok eventually Paris will welcome me back but in the meantime I am planning for all potential fashionable situations.

  8. Making Disney spreadsheets. Actually, I recently told my cousin Daniel that I would break my 8 sheet spreadsheet into digestible information and that was almost as satisfying. Please note the fashion came before the actual planning.

  9. As a side effect of this weird modeling career I have sometimes crazy things come in the mail, like overalls for me and Coco. Taking pictures with the dog is actually quite fun. All the picture taking is exhausting sometimes, but picking out the perfect shoe for every outfit never ceases to entertain me.

  10. Monthly/quarterly subscriptions. Even though I get to customize my FabFitFun box, I still get so excited when it comes and I get to play with it all. Cureture is another fun one. Plus I have the Allure and Birtchbox beauty ones. I don’t need all this stuff, but it’s bringing me so much joy right now to try a shampoo once and then give it to my mom/sister/whoever will take it.

  11. Listening to the Harry Potter books in the car on the drive to our BFFs who live 45 mins away. We get to see them more because there is nothing else to do. I have yet to hear this post’s namesake quote yet but we become more and more Potterheads every week.

  12. Knowing I have a backlog of fun outfits to wear as soon as there is somewhere to wear them.

  13. New Girl. It’s our favorite Pandemic show that makes us laugh every episode.

  14. Watching Gilmore Girls with Scarlett. There is a bit of a down side as she’s becoming obsessed with Harvard and that seems unhealthy. We’re so Loreli and Rory it’s scary.

  15. Writing. Whenever I have something I really want to say, I can, without emoting to everyone. I write a blog post. Some read, some don’t but it’s out there. Out of me. I have turned on the light. Even if I am the only one who sees it, happiness is in turning on the light.

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