Finding silver linings in a year filled with clouds

Abraham Villarreal
3 min readSep 18, 2020

For every cloud there is a silver lining. This is a year of clouds and seemingly few silver linings. But they are there.

With most clichés, we gravitate to the word in the phrase that makes us feel good. That one cliché about spilled milk, it’s an expression of encouragement to stop our “crying” about an unfortunate life circumstance. There is the cliché about birds and their feathers. The point is that they fly “together.”

Clichés are clichés because we say them over and over again. They are our verbal post-it notes.

We write them in letters and in text messages. We post them on social media and speak them out loud like exclamation points at the end of sentences. They are meant to make us feel better about whatever is happening in our lives, at least for a moment.

As we enter the autumn of a year of cloud filled skies, it’s helpful to remember that along the way there have been many silver linings. Some have been obvious but most we haven’t noticed, at least not while they are happening. That’s how silver linings are, we stumble upon them later when we’ve had time to sit and think about what we just went through.

I wish they weren’t that way so today I’m thinking of recent silver linings that have come my way.

Like time with family. When we were forced to press the pause button, we were also forced to be around the people that we like to say are the closest to us.

Family can be like the scenic mountains surrounding a small rural community in the middle of nowhere. They are always there, right in front of you, that they become impossible to see. The silver lining is that we learned to appreciate and love again what was always supposed to the most important in our lives.

Some clouds brought us times of reflection which led to major life decisions. We changed careers or retired early. Pet adoptions rose sharply as we sought companions to fill newly found loneliness. Fundraisers and volunteering increased as community members found ways to support each other.

Clouds and silver linings are everywhere. They are found in the smiling faces of those who benefited from your helping…

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Abraham Villarreal

People are interesting. I write about them and what makes them interesting.