During these difficult times it is easy to view the future as a light at the end of a dark tunnel. The future is where we we can finally take off our masks and see our friends. The future is where we can get on an airplane to see our family members or travel to an exciting international destination. “Just hold on a little longer,” they say, “the end is right around the corner.” But as the months have dragged into a year the expectant waiting has become taxing. And for me, this moment calls for a self-care that is all about seeing the positivity in our day to day. It’s about living in the moment and appreciating the little things that we take for granted all the time. My partner and I love to cook together and recently I bought us a book that we could write our favorite recipes in. The simple pleasure of taking my favorite pizza dough recipe off my phone and putting it into a book was calming and meditative. When we moved to Santa Fe this fall we bought two small bookshelves to store our burgeoning book collection in. We are both avid readers and seeing that we are almost out of space on these shelves is very satisfying. In the morning I go for walks and it is almost always sunny. I listen to birds and compare the blue sky to the rainy and grey winters of the Pacific Northwest. I went to school in Washington and this year I feel lucky that I can feel the sun on my face in February. What do I do to stay happy right now? Everyday I get outside for at least an hour, taking my puppy for walks or running. I try to meditate. I play my guitar or piano. But the most important thing I do is to forgive myself for not feeling 100% all the time. Leaning into negative emotions and recognizing the difficulty of these times helps me be gentler on myself. I have learned that it is better to embrace hard times than to feel like I’m sitting in a state of limbo.