A beautiful home on a lake. Great friends. Good movies. No laptop (meaning no work). Margaritas, wine and food.

That’s a very brief summary of what I did last weekend. It was relaxing. It was a break I desperately needed from home and work and, well, real life.

Real life kicked back into high gear Monday. Mid-morning, my mom sent me a text with this “Sunday Evening Reminder” from Maria Shriver:

“There is a new week coming. Look ahead to it. Open your eyes to all of its possibilities and all of yours. Let your doubts and your fears dissolve. I’m here to remind you of your magnificence, of your brilliance. Now, close your eyes, and let my words land.”

Yes. I needed that too.

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I imagine many of us need similar words of encouragement. We have both COVID-19 and election fatigue. We’re tired of being socially distant and not seeing people we want to see, when we want to see them. We want to embrace others in tight hugs, talk and laugh in each other’s faces.

Our choice to lead our country was or was not proclaimed as our next president, leaving us elated or bitterly disappointed, even angry. Either way, we are so tired of politics - of the bickering and bashing, and, of course, of all the media ads.

That leads me to another meme I found on Facebook:

“If we could spread love as quickly as we spread hate and negativity, what an amazing world we would live in.”

So true, right?

How about this one:

“We can’t always choose the music life plays for us, but we can choose how we dance to it.”

And:

“Don’t give up on this year. Keep fighting for the good. Keep showing up. Keep loving. Keep giving back. Keep being kind. Keep being brave. Keep caring. Keep trying new things. Keep showing grace. Keep on. This world needs you to believe in the good.”

Again, so true, right?

When I was in high school, I cut out inspiring words or phrases, or words and phrases that had meaning in my life at the time, and covered my bedroom closet with them. Now I just download these inspiring memes to my cell phone and search them out from time to time when I need reassurance or calming and uplifting thoughts.

Here’s another “Sunday Evening Reminder” from Maria Shriver:

“You are right where you are supposed to be. Have faith in yourself. Be compassionate towards yourself. Let me remind you that lightness always emerges, it always triumphs. You are light. Rise this week, rise above the noise!”

I have so many more similar words of encouragement, but I’ll leave you with a more lighthearted, funny one. As we say so long to our short return of beautiful fall weather - this time for good, I fear - and look toward another long, cold, gray winter, consider this:

“If you choose not to find joy in the snow, you will have less joy in your life but still the same amount of snow.”

So true, right?

Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.