Counting blessings

Now is the time to be grateful. If you are paying attention to the news during this time of pandemic, it is impossible to miss all the tales of incredible suffering, including death. It will be a long time before we know the total number of people who will be affected by the novel coronavirus. Whether you have been affected by the loss of a loved one, your own illness or the illness of a loved one, the loss of a job and financial security or simply by having to change your routine, working from home and struggling to adjust to the “new normal,” we are ALL experiencing some kind of loss. Grief is inevitable. At the same time, it is vital to remember the good things, the true things, the things you CAN do, not just the things you CANNOT do right now.

I will be honest; up until now, knock on wood, I have been relatively unaffected by the pandemic. I am working from home and, to be honest, as a bit of a homebody, I’m not too disturbed by that fact anyway. I miss weekly visits with my parents as our Sunday family dinners are now on perpetual hold. But I also used to really enjoy my weekly grocery shopping trip, where I typically wandered up and down each aisle, looking for sale items and seeing if something would spark some inspiration for a fun, creative cooking or baking project. These are the things I am not focusing on for the time being.

The other way of looking at things is to consider all the things you do still have and can do. I still have my health (as do my husband, parents and all extended family). My dog is a delight; she brings us so much joy, and she is feeling extra special now that we are home all day, every day. She doesn’t understand why, but she’s all for it. We have a home and a lovely, if small, backyard and now that the weather is getting nicer, I expect we will be spending much more time there in the evenings.

This evening, while walking the dog, I was working on my mindfulness. Things smell fresh and spring-like, flowers are blooming, trees have flowers, buds and leaves. Nature persists and is beckoning us to partake in the experience of spring. Even though I have taken this same walk through the neighborhood almost every day for years, tonight, there were new sights and sounds I had never before experienced. There is so much beauty in the world.

I have tried keeping a gratitude journal in the past with little success. I don’t intend to turn this blog into that, but want to encourage any/all readers to just remember that, even where there is enormous sadness in the world, you can take little moments here and there to focus on and appreciate something beautiful. If journaling is your thing, consider documenting these blessings through this period of time.

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