Bernie Sanders started a craze of memes across the nation with his mittens at President Biden’s inauguration last week. What is it about this cold, winter wear that has caused the mittens to go viral?
Yes, they are just mittens. But, they represent so much more. In this time of cold, both wintery and emotional, they represent comfort and warmth. The mittens were gifted to Bernie and he obviously appreciated them. They may bring memories of caring gifts to our own minds. I remember my Aunt Ruth who gave me handknitted mittens and slippers on many Christmas’. She made them for all the nieces and nephews because she loved us and wanted us to stay warm. I always thought of her when I put them on. And even though she has been gone for many years, I still think of her sunny and caring personality.
We like the idea of nurturing that the mittens bring to mind. The idea that we can reach out and take care of each other sits well with us. People are in special need of extra compassion and thoughtfulness during these hard times. There is political animosity, racial unrest, even people becoming confrontational about how to deal with the pandemic. Someone to reach out with kind actions and provide warmth is what we all need right now. We need warmth of body and soul. Our souls are tired and it is time to lift each other up. Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be caring. There has rarely been a better time during my lifetime to employ the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. These mittens represent so much as their image goes viral around the world. They represent what we all need.
Bernie’s mittens were repurposed from an old sweater. That they found new life as hand-wear pleases our utilitarian urges not waste, but to give new uses to old things. Old things can have beauty and still serve. The wool from the original sweater is still doing a job and serving a purpose. The fleece lining is made from recycled plastic bottles. These are some of the values that have served our country well. And the Bernie memes show that government officials can be down to earth, just like us.
We also like the coziness of these mittens. At the inauguration, all around were people in finery. Beautiful long coats, stylish scarves, slim leather gloves, fancy footwear. As it should be for such a formal and momentous occasion. But there was also room for comfort and things that are meaningful to the wearer. We are nothing, if not a diverse people.
The popularity of these simple mittens goes far beyond what they are made of. They are a symbol. They represent things we have and things we want, in the figurative sense. Let’s hope that in the coming days and weeks these mittens will foster a kinder America. A place where we can all feel at home again.
I have spent a lot of time recently focusing on how to survive in a pandemic world. In retrospect, most of these ideas are good to apply to our lives in general. But most of us are searching for extra help and guidance right now. When we are spending so much more time and energy just to slog through our daily lives, there is little left over for getting beyond that. See my post giving you some ideas on how to cope. My Top 10 Ways to Deal With Isolation During the Covid Pandemic!
Rather than offer more ideas on how to cope, I would like to offer some words of comfort here. Life is cyclical. There will be good times and there will be bad times. Neither will last forever. The trick is in remembering that. The ecstasy that we feel when we are just married or newly in love, is a beautiful thing. We need to cherish moments like these as they occur. They are a positive experience that we can put into our emotional bank account. Something to draw on and relive when times are tougher. Because they will get tougher.
I think of life experiences as a mathematical sine curve. Positive and negative events go up and down balancing each other out. If time are rough, I think of the curve and know that they will swing up again. Life is not static. Times will get better.
I think it is safe to say that times and events are in a low part of the curve right now. Life is harder for almost everyone. I can’t imagine anyone that Covid 19 has not touched in some way. Those who have become ill or lost a loved are the most affected. But others’ lives have altered too. Businesses have lost income, people have lost jobs. Something so common as going out in public to get food has become a changed thing. There are now masks, sanitizers, and social distance to consider. Nothing is as easy as it used to be. Even when my husband and I take our pack of dogs out for a hike, we worry when a fellow hiker passes. How close did they get? Were they breathing heavily and expelling lots of breathe? Is the air movement good? We carry masks with us and use them as we deem they are necessary.
I feel confident that we are at a low point on the curve now so that means that things are going to get better. The roll out of a vaccine is a stepping stone to moving on to better times. Hold on a little longer, better times are coming. I will offer one coping mechanism here that can be used to get you through. Rather than wallowing in the negativity of our current low, spend time thinking about the blessings to come. Make plans for them. I made a previous post about that here. Coping Mechanisms
Our lives will be changing again, mostly for the better. We will be able to safely go out in public again. Not all at once, but each step along the way will be a return to normalcy. We will congregate with friends and family members again. We will share hugs, and I know mine will be long ones! I can see these times in my mind’s eye, even now. Hang on, I know you can do it.
This is what Christmas looks like in our family. And from our family to yours, Merry Christmas.
We wish for you, that everyone in your family survives this pandemic and is with you for your holiday celebrations next year. And if it is already too late for that, I hope the coming year brings you peace.
This year was unusual for us, as it was for so many. For the first time in my life, I was not able to see my brother for the holiday season. I also was not able to see my daughter. We are staying separate so everyone stays healthy. Doing our part to stop the corona spread. We did see my mother in law as she is like us and stays home nearly all the time.
I anticipate that next Christmas we will all be together again for the holidays. And what a joyous celebration it will be.
News from a previous foster dog of ours! Sweetie was our foster last year. She came before the foster dog we have right now, Kammie. Sweetie was a joy, even if she was a bit challenging. After all challenging describes our kind of dog.
Her new family adores her. They say they can’t imagine life without her and she goes many places with them. One thing she does with the family is camping.
Here she is sticking out of the tent. She is definitely a much loved part of her new family. This is what we hope for when we let someone adopt a dog that we have taken into our homes and loved. It is hard to let them go. But when we get reports like this, we know that we have done the right thing. And we know that this is what it takes to be able to help the next dog that comes along. And there is always a next dog. We have fostered over 40 dogs so far.
The greatest hope of all people who work in animal rescue is that we will one day be put out of business. That there will be no more need for our services. We want to become a thing of the past. But until that day, stories like Sweetie’s keep us going.