Happy New Year! We wish you…RESILIENCY

It would seem inadequate to wish you all a simple happy and healthy New Year. After the year we have just finished, we have greater wishes for you – more meaningful wishes for all of us. If there is one word to sum it up it would be – resiliency. We wish you resiliency in 2021.

Being resilient means the world can’t throw us off our game – or that we have the internal and external resources to regain our footing.

To those of us who believe someone is coming to rescue us in times of need, or to those who believe that the government is going to do that, this year should have taught us some hard lessons. While there may be help, and there has been help, if we’ve learned anything it is that we must be much more dependent on ourselves – our strength – and the world we have built around us.

As the greatness of the United States of America is finding a way out of this pandemic – by developing a vaccine in less than a year – we’ve been warned by scientific experts that this may not be “the big one” – we should prepare our systems for what could lie ahead.

Beyond COVID19, we’ve seen fires sweet the west coast, burning land and everything on it – the size of two Floridas. We could go through a lot of environmental threats or threats of homegrown terrorism or violence. Or we could talk about threats far more personal – those of our own health from disease or accident, and that of our family members. Or economic loss. Or career. Of our finances.

We think 2021 is the perfect time to develop our resiliency tools and resources. Think of them as bricks to build our solid house. It’s time. We offer this list – as well as some wishes from our writers – in no particular order:

Family – repair the strained relationships – say the words of apology – make it a plan – make a list – include those close, and those not – cousins – children – parents and grandparents – we’ve learned the importance of family and those who are closest to us.

Friends – get more of them and reconnect with those you have. It may take some comfort getting used to doing this again – no doubt we’ve all been impacted by fear of disease and germs, that even when it’s “olly olly oxen free time”, we will hesitate – but let’s not quarantine any longer than we need to – our friends are our lifeline. Spend some of that googling time you use to find high school friends and those lost through job and location changes.

House of Worship – find one – even if you’re not that religious – say the prayers, sing the songs, associate you and your family with a group of fine people – a village, if you will. You may be called on to help someone – and it will build you up in the doing. Some day you may also need help in return.

Skills – what do you need to learn? Home repairs. Computer skills. Sewing. Gardening. Zoom skills. Cooking. Skills of communication. Talents to do for ourselves, rather than buy the opportunity for others to do for us.

Gig it – Older people always knew this. Have more than one thing you can do to earn a living. Because suddenly, one day, that job may not be there. And the government isn’t always going to pay you enough to exist without it. Can you make and sell crafty things? Freelance writing. Home repairs. Lawn maintenance. Antiques. eBay. Etsy. Shopping or delivery service. Uber/Lyft. Have a Plan B and be good at it.

Underspend – Take an assessment of how you spend your money. 2020 would have been the best time to do it. What have you learned you can do with less of, or without? Do you need to downsize – or even upsize and give up that outside office? Cook more at home, you’re doing it better and better every day.

Save more – Many have learned that our emergency savings didn’t take us far. Shore up those savings. Eliminate unnecessary fees. Make a long-range plan.

Housing – Is it time to change the way you live? Sell or buy a house? Rent? If you live alone, find a roommate? Need to move to a one level? Live in a community with easier access to services and essential supplies? Public transportation? Want to live more off-the-grid? Explore where you live with fresh eyes and make the plan for changes if you need to.

Computer/internet – again, we can’t stress enough that this is our link to the world – upgrade, make it faster, learn how to use all the features. It is your window to the world. The internet is never quarantined or stays out of work. Learn how to use it. Teach your older family members. Know where your local hotspots are if internet goes down. Take classes. THIS is a priority.

Generator – a good investment for your home – use it safely.

Home tools – items like shop vacs, safe space heaters, etc. – set up your resource area to take care of where you live.

Home solar – rooftop we’re not fans of – but newer technology will allow us to have free standing units in the near future. Keep an eye on this. There are often federal programs to help pay for it.

Quantity shopping – staples – you know what we mean (toilet paper, paper towel, cleaning products, water). Will any of us let our supplies run low again? Buy a bunch, put it away, and forget about it. We’re not talking survivalist mode here (but hey, some rations might not be a bad idea to toss in).

Local library – look at the resources they have. In addition to books, there are many other resources, one of the best are our librarians, ready and eager to do research for us, to help us learn how to use the library – bring your children there – use public meeting rooms for community and business meetings and get out of the coffee shops. Many are offering unique services online – even daily readings of bedtime stories to our children by creative librarians. Look for a calendar of events. Community presentations. Most have art exhibits. Take advantage of this resource right in your neighborhood. Some also offer internet hotspots for homework, and other times of need.

Financial literacy – push your children’s school to make this part of their curriculum, or an after-school program. Many nonprofits offer these classes for young adults and adults – even families. Talk to your local bank about offering this for the community. Credit unions are uniquely set up for this. There are often federal funds to get it going.

Refinance and pay off debt – mortgage – cars – student debt – credit cards – look at all that you owe; there are resources to help you make a plan to pay it down wisely.

Learn state/city resources – what resources are you eligible for? Are there tax reductions if you are a senior? If you need help with SNAP or energy assistance, get to know your CAP agencies. And food assistance programs. Go on your city’s website and poke around. Look at the city council meeting agendas. Something to help you where you live?

Network of moms/dads – such strength for moms and dads in these networks. Find a group that gets together to share time and information. You often can form lifelong friendships not only for you, but for your children. They’ll also be the best resource for recommendations on doctors, playgroups, schools, activities, etc.

Sports – youth teams, adult teams – they are a great way to meet more people to make your circle stronger – and more resilient.

Business networks – at least once a month go to a networking group – or ZOOM on with one for now. It’s essential to reintroduce ourselves and keep those relationships strong. Give leads to each other – no telling it will come back to you tenfold.

Self-care – meditation – music – exercise – relaxation – whether it is a formal class or doing a tape or Facebook Live or ZOOM – find what appeals to you the most and make it part of your daily life. You’ll be stronger for it.

Basic fun. Walks – playgrounds – basic toys (think Lincoln logs, puzzles card games, creative hobbies) – bicycling – read books – back to basics – while all the technology is important to us, it is also time to learn how to enjoy ourselves alone or with others, without depending on outside sources to amuse us. Fid a hobby – something fun just for you – silly, meaningful, etc. – just make it joyful.

Find 5 inspirational leaders – read their tweets, quotes, books – you’ll find immense rewards in your attitude and how you approach and end each day.

Clean and organize – especially if you have a home office or kids learning remotely. Just having your place look neater will help organize the chaos that can surround us, and our minds.

Know your local rep/senator – who are they? What are their agendas? Do you know what they can help you with? Do they have regular coffee get togethers or ZOOMs?  Make yourself known – help in their campaigns. They can help you with a neighborhood issue if you have one.

Register to vote – goes without saying, right? Do it. Do it now. And our preference is vote in person. We remember a time when it was a big deal to go out to vote. We prepared. We read about candidates. We analyzed bond issues. Grandmas got dressed up with their white gloves. You went to vote then out for a bite to eat. You didn’t talk too much about who you voted for or even what party you aligned with. But it was a – very – big – deal. We’re not suggesting white gloves – just that we make it a big deal again – don’t just mail it in, if you can. If you must, then the convenience is certainly there for you.

2-year degrees – look into them to start your college education – spend the most money on grad school, or having your final degree come from a 4-year college that you spent money on for only 2 of those years. It’s a great value and quality is going up.

Basic life insurance – not that whole life thing, that’s part of your financial planning – but just get a basic term life insurance plan for every member of your family – it’s pennies on the dollar and will take care of basic costs in case a time comes when your family needs it.

Dental care – health insurance doesn’t think our teeth are part of our bodies – so get the best dental insurance you can afford. We have stress – and our teeth have stress – in COVID19 more people were cracking teeth from clenching than ever before. Invest in a night guard. Here’s where prevention is everything. In your 60s you’ll be faced with big repairs and expensive implants or procedures if you don’t.

Health insurance – lots will be changing here – be aware – ask the questions of your insurer or your employer – but know what you have and how to use it. Review your docs and make changes there, too, if it makes sense for you.


We probably missed a lot – but here are the 7 Cs of Resiliency:

competence, confidence, connection

character, contribution, coping and control


Some inspiration – saying goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021:

We’ll sign off here with some inspiration from Harrison Sheckler, of Brooklyn College: “In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, 300 people from 15 different countries came together to participate in a virtual rendition of the beautiful song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Carousel. Hopefully, the words, ‘you’ll never walk alone,’ along with the visual of 300 people joining together offers the audience some comfort and peace during this time.

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