Life in the Box: Breathing the Last of 2021

January 5, 2022

2021 is over. I almost said “thank goodness,” but that’s not exactly how I feel. A lot of great things happened last year. But it’s hard to take a deep breath and approach 2022 without knowing that the story of American Democracy might have an unhappy ending. So, I do my least favorite thing. Wait.

Holding my breath. Yoga breathing comes to mind. Breathe in through the left nostril, count to ten, breathe out through the right. 

That’s what 2021 was all about. Covid out of control? Regain control of your own breath. Don’t breathe other people’s air, stay distant, sanitize, wear a mask. Fascists rioting at the Capitol? Hold your breath and wait, wait, wait for them to be stopped. For them to be investigated. For them to be imprisoned. For their leaders to tell the truth. (I’m not holding my breath on that last one.)

This week, it’s been refreshing to see evidence that Fox News host Sean Hannity actually tried to talk Trump out of his coup attempt. Small breath with laugh. Snort. Sigh, while watching what Hannity said on the air (lies) versus his real thoughts in his memos. Small breath, hold, release.

Our national government is not under malicious control at the moment. Breathe in. This year’s elections could switch it back. Breathe out.

Our new President and Congress have done stellar work on getting Covid vaccines distributed, for free, to everyone. Breath of fresh air. Also, they’ve boosted the economy, taken steps to help people go back to work, made logical and insightful laws that help the people who need it the most. Cheers! There are two in Congress that could block needed laws to protect voting rights nationally. Jeers! 

The head of our Justice System is no longer participating in a crazy President’s plots. Yay! But the new head of the Justice System isn’t impressing me with his slow speed in resetting his office. Sigh.

The negatives about the Supreme Court are many, and I’m expecting their future rulings to be full of noxious gas, not a breath of fresh air.

The state I live in, Iowa, is headed by Trumpians. They have cut back voters’ rights, banned mask mandates, and sent back Federal money that was supposed to help people affected by Covid. Last year, they approved laws that could hurt people. Literally, they’ve made it legal to drive a car into a crowd of protesters. Anguished cry.

So, I continue to breathe. Deeply. Watch the news in suspense. Put on a mask and trudge out into the world. Be intrepid. Keep breathing in the good, counting to ten, and releasing the bad on the out-breath. Filtering out the lies and speaking the truth as I know it, like a good retired journalist should.


Nancy Heather Brown is a retired, Emmy Award-winning television producer whose career has included interviewing, writing, narrating and editing for a span of four decades. Today, she enjoys learning new things and reflecting upon the creative process and life issues, both inside and outside the box. Her opinions are her own, and are not necessarily those of this web site.


Via Basel “50 Years” reflections on America 

Details about Iowa’s “pro-police” law that includes immunity for driving into a crowd of protesters

One response to “Life in the Box: Breathing the Last of 2021”

  1. Basel Al-Aswad says:

    Thanks you Nancy for an insightful post and teaching me how to breathe this coming year..

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