Service of Looking on the Bright Side II

December 28th, 2020

Categories: Bright Side, Pandemic, Retail

It almost feels out of place, with so many friends suffering, to list some bright spots as I look back on this year. I worry that my list might ring a sour note against the backdrop of recent loss–some sorely and freshly missing their loved ones–while others are fighting challenging diseases or conditions, and several are exhaustively looking for jobs. Out of my circle, millions are hungry and/or are about to be evicted from their homes or are recovering from Covid-19–or not. Carcasses of businesses are on every commercial street in Manhattan and in most cities. And this is for starters.

Cheery observations at the end of 2020 might be reminiscent of the Christmas letters of old that often arrived as life imploded. The writers boasted about a kid’s early admission to Harvard, the First Class trip the family of eight took in Tuscany all of August and the sale of the family business for a gazillion dollars. [I don’t get these letters anymore because Facebook boasting took the pressure off.]

Nevertheless, I nod to a few things that brightened my year:

  • I moved my office home in June. By July all the others in the shared space were also permanently working remotely. It wasn’t the lifestyle jolt I’d have expected under normal circumstances because I’d already been home for four months and had adjusted to the lack of companionship.
  • Envisioning the reaction of recipients of the handwritten postcards I sent to support candidates around the country made me smile. Did they think, “Who is Jeanne?” Did they vote?
  • My friends are blessings. I appreciated all their invitations even though I accepted so few.
  • Normally not fond of shots I look forward to receiving the vaccine–the ray of hope.
  • I splurged–and love–my iPad and the New York Public Library e-book collection.
  • YouTube and WMNR [through my laptop] are lifesavers. So is Netflix.
  • I feel safe in my apartment.
  • I enjoy my own company.

If you suffered a loss or are ill, I am so sorry. I rejoice with friends who have battled and won over serious conditions. I trust those looking for work will find promising opportunities early in the new year. And I hope that you, too, can think of a few bright spots as you review this horrific year. Happy New Year.

We hope they will.


11 Responses to “Service of Looking on the Bright Side II”

  1. Helen Rabinovitz Said:

    My bright spots are that no one I know and love has been affected by the virus. That’s good enough for meπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

  2. Francine Ryan Said:

    Francine wrote on Facebook: I take hope and joy in everything you write, Jeanne!

  3. Debbie Kunen Said:

    Debbie wrote on Facebook: Optimism is a good thing πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘

  4. Helen Wagner Said:

    Helen wrote on Facebook: To which Pain Quotidien does this sign refer?

  5. Lucrezia Said:

    Any bright spots this year were wiped out by the sudden death of my closest friend of over 20 years. Even CAT seems out of sorts and keeps looking at the front door, anticipating the arrival of her biggest fan.

    Grief does not often cooperate with efforts to move on, and it takes time to move it to the curb, but that’s exactly what we must do, the alternative being too ugly to contemplate.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Third Ave 44th. Many are gone forever. The company that owns PQ bought Maison Kayser. I miss MK!! Hope they are soon up and running again.

  7. Cynthia Hansen Said:

    Cynthia wrote on Facebook: Blessings and Love for the Happy New Year πŸ—½πŸŒŸπŸ’“πŸŒΉ

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:

    To you also Cynthia, and to us all.

  9. Jeanne Byington Said:


    No amount of practice provides clues to shortcuts to cut off grief as it slams your heart. No amount of preparation helps with the loss of a dear one although a sudden death must be hardest.

    The loss of a precious friend is painful and I doubt anyone can share effective antidotes. Time also takes its time when it comes to sadness. I am sorry.

  10. BC Said:

    Lyrics for β€œAlways look on the bright side of life –β€œ+Always+look+on+the+bright+side+of+like&search=&form=QBLH&sp=-1&pq=lyrics+for+β€œ+always+look+on+the+bright+side+of+like&sc=0-51&qs=n&sk=&cvid=FAE1E2900B3B4812AB1D9A5E859B7DDE

  11. MarthaTakayama Said:

    I appreciate your calling attention to what can alleviate the overwhelming gloom of our current moment. I am most grateful at this times for lovely friends, near and far. I have hopes for a better future because of the vaccines. I also am looking forward to our new President and Vice-President.

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