Thursday, April 09, 2020

Gratitude during COVID-19

During this global pandemic it's not uncommon to see gratitude expressed - and deservedly so! - for those on the front lines, the health workers, the first responders, the essential workers, the teachers and professors who quickly adapt their methods, and so many more. Today I want to include others to whom we should express thanks. 

Sincere thanks to those who are sheltering in place, staying home, staying safe, even though it can be frustrating, even though you want to go out and be social. Thanks to those treating this as the global health issue it is, to those who see and recognize and honor humanity in the discussions surrounding it rather than turning the discourse toward politics.

Thanks to those who, despite understanding, "They can't MAKE me stay home!" (indeed, They cannot), operate from a place of knowing this isn't about controlling any person, it's about reducing the spread of a new and mysterious and highly-contagious virus which is proving deadly for many. 

Thanks to those who, when at the store for necessities, understand that Distancing isn't just about not wanting to catch it from someone else, it's also about not wanting to give it to someone else, because any of us could have it and be asymptomatic. 

Thanks to those who continue to consider the most vulnerable in our communities, and behave accordingly, whether through their actions day-to-day or the information and opinions they share. 

Thanks to those who decline social invitations and cancel gatherings. This can be so heartbreakingly difficult. You're missing family and friends, birthday parties, weddings, graduations. You want to hold that new grandbaby. You want to see your grandmother blow out those candles this year. You want to celebrate milestones. I see you.

Thanks to those who are patient with their kids, who explain EVERYONE is going through this, even though you yourself may feel like throwing a tantrum: this ISN'T fair. None of it. A lot of it feels like it doesn't make sense. Thank you to those who maintain decorum. 

Thank you to those who use this time to learn alongside their children how to deal with those feelings of impatience and frustration, to those who have long thought, "Why don't they teach basic life skills in school?" and now find themselves in a position to not only learn those things with their children but also practice together. The importance of kindness, meditation, helping others, contributing to household work, sharing, being together, having alone time, taking a time out, taking time to reach out to others, taking time to watch tv or movies or play on a device, appropriately expressing emotion, getting fresh air, taking care of our bodies and minds, relaxing, resting --- thank you for teaching your children by example, even when what you're teaching is how to learn and how to practice. 

Thank you to those who are working from home, those who are going to work, and those who wish they could work. Thank you to those who are staying home while trying to figure out how to do what they need to do AND help their kids and/or other family members do what they need to do. Thank you to those who are staying home while wishing they could share this time with kids. Thank you to those who are staying home who would give anything to share this time with anyone else.  

Thank you to those who create and share memes and jokes about our shared experience without putting down or insulting any group or faction. Thank you to those who inspire and bring laughter in the face of the communal unknown. 

And thank you to those who make themselves available to uplift when and where and how they are able, because we all occasionally find ourselves feeling down and in the dark. Thank you to those who are understanding and compassionate when it's difficult to see the sunshine.  

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