Making A Change On a Dark Dreary Day


Rarely do I post something written by someone else. But, today I am making an exception.

Eugenia Zuckerman was the arts correspondent on the TV show, Sunday Mornings with Jane Pauley, for the past 25 years. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Instead of bemoaning her fate, she is using her time to inspire and motivate anyone affected by this disease. She has written a book about her experiences and shares other written material.

One such piece is the poem I’ve reproduced here. It fits perfectly with a recent post of mine about hope, and my overall message of staying involved and active during retirement.

I hope you enjoy what Eugenia has written.


By Eugenia Zukerman

Even though the difficult year of 2020 has finally passed, we are all now faced with the reality that not everything is going to magically get better overnight, with the shout of one Happy New Year. After the tumultuous transition of power in Washington, to the continued news about COVID cases climbing, worrying if we will be able to get our turn for a vaccine added onto the looming gray of winter, things can feel, well, bleak. 

But, even with all the difficulties, I strongly feel that staying positive is a choice we can make — or at least fight hard for — no matter what comes our way. Through my own battle with Alzheimer’s, I have learned that yes, some days are harder than others, but it is important we keep focusing on the goodness of life, as best we can.

Writing poetry during my diagnosis at the pandemic has brought me so much joy.  Here is one that I wrote on the morning of a particularly dark morning, that I hope will inspire others to keep staying positive and looking for the light, even when things feel dark.


              You have a choice say I to me

           as I roll out of bed cranky as can be

   you can hunker down and refuse to smile

           sit up in bed  –  stare at the radio dial

      or flop back on a pillow, lie there and pout

    bite your nails – enjoy some deep existential doubt

But turned on my side I try a little test —-

                   just out the window

             I see a bluebird’s making his nest

his twitter and tweets are charming, in fact the very best

Soon I’m happily humming along with his simple tune

                     and it goes like this –

If the weather’s dreary  and you’re feeling down and dark

   talk to the bluebird!  Change your dark and dreary to

                        light and lively — that’s the trick!

Whatever 2021 has for us, I will continue to create art, take walks in nature, and work to stay positive. Life is precious, even during hard days, and we can all keep looking ahead for the light that is sure to come. 

I am glad this poem was given to me for use on Satisfying Retirement. If you’d like to learn more about Eugenia and her Alzheimer’s experiences, here is a link to her book: Like Falling Through a Cloud.