Fall is officially over. Thank God. Today is the Winter Solstice and starting tomorrow the days will get longer. This normally is something to celebrate on any given year, but this year we need that sunshine more than ever. The darkness has been far more than just celestial changes. The pandemic has made this fall harder than any other.

We've all had to adapt our lives due to COVID-19. I know a lot of parents like us have struggled with home schooling our children and trying to get our jobs done. There have been days where it's been easier than others, and days where we don't know if we can make it. Then there comes the guilt of complaining about the stress of work, when we should be thankful we still have a job.

Our kids have been affected deeply, too. It's been painful to see them missing out on the social aspect. My 7 year old, especially. Every day I hear how she misses her friends at school.

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But, for the first time we can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In the last few days I've seen friends who are health care workers at Essentia & St. Luke's getting vaccinated. Our kids will be finally going back to school in January. Numbers are starting to come down in cases in St. Louis County and Douglas County. Christmas is approaching, and hopefully that trend doesn't reverse.

Today congress finally passed a second COVID-19 relief bill before the holiday break. It was a piece of good breaking news this morning. The days are getting longer and brighter starting tomorrow. Hopefully we can see the rest of our lives get a little brighter instead of a little darker each day like they have been for so long.

This is a turning point in the seasons, and perhaps even in our lives. The pandemic has taught us a lot about ourselves, individually and as a society. Often some of the greatest changes in civilization occur after the hardest of times. We'll see what the future brings, but I bet there will be some positive outcomes in the big picture of things. Just remember, tomorrow will be brighter.

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