Real Life

Gratefulness in the Midst of a Pandemic

It’s crazy guys. 

No one ever saw social distancing, stores and businesses closing and shortage of toilet paper on the horizon. I’ve never seen so many people panic while facing unknowns, felt for the heavy burden of parents without work, or heard so many complaints about wanting “normal” back.

It’s crazy how much can change in such a short amount of time and we wonder, will “normal” ever really get to show her face in public again?

I don’t know everyone’s story and exactly how the pandemic has affected your life, but I do know that even in the midst of craziness, unknowns and hardship, there have been many good things to be grateful for and if you can tolerate some optimism for a brief time, my heart wants to share the shards of hope I’ve seen through this strange time of social distancing and lockdown. 

The first thing is my view and use of time.

I think back to before social distancing began, before my activities and plans were indefinitely postponed or cancelled. Time was something I used to squeeze as much as possible into something I could do that was productive or profitable or that could add value to the world. Essentially there’s nothing wrong with that.

But I often find that wringing every last sweet drop out of time leaves me stretched thin and exhausted. And without a bit of flexible time left on the side, I get grouchy when something disrupts my fine tuned schedule. 😛 

And if you’re like me and you feel like you have to be doing something in order to pour the most into life while we can, it was a bit of a challenge facing a rather empty schedule. 

But after realizing that throwing myself a pity party because my planned schedule was changed wasn’t going to do me any good, I found how grateful I am for a fresh look at time and how I want to use it.

Suddenly having time that wasn’t already given away, gave me the freedom to stay on top of projects and priorities so that I could take guilt free spontaneous trips into town to help my mom load mulch into her van. I could call a friend and spend hours talking on the phone without having to cut a good conversation short. I can read and write and clean without feeling behind on some other life thing and random movie night with the siblings, sure why not? 

It’s like there’s a beautiful balance here that I somehow miss in my normal business. A balance between doing and being. My projects, work and relationships are getting the time that they deserve and I don’t want to lose that even when things go back to normal. 

I’m grateful for a fresh perspective on time.

Speaking of relationships…

We were created to need relationships. 

First with God and then with one another. It’s ironic that the thing that should be our first priority is one of the first things that can get shoved aside in the midst of our business. Looking back on my schedule pre-virus there were times I couldn’t recall when I’d last checked in on my family or reached out to a friend. 

Can I just say how awesome it’s been that even during “social distancing” people are reaching out and investing in one another? 

I mean it’s so cool to see family dinners, neighbors meeting and talking to neighbors (six feet apart of course XD), dad’s spending time with their sons and daughters, children calling grandparents, pastors and teachers driving past houses just to wave, and people diving back into God’s word. 

Because it’s this kind of care and love and investment in one another that will strengthen who we are as individuals and as a nation so that when we come through this and stand on the other side our relationships will have been cultivated into the priorities that they should be. 

I’m grateful for the chance and reminder to give relationships the time and place they deserve.

Enjoying the simple things in life.

When life’s flying by at a million miles per second it makes stopping to smell the roses a chore rather than a privilege. 

This whole strange social distancing time has made me grateful for small things I usually take for granted like video calls, country walks, messenger, warm weather, cats to keep one company, parks, music to fill quietness, food and yes of course toilet paper. XD (and even more so the men and women working 24/7 to make sure the world doesn’t run out of essential items! Shout out and a huge thank you to those people working round the clock!) 

I’m grateful for all the little things that make life magical! 

What happens when things get back to normal?

Yes, I’m going a bit stir crazy at home. 😛 I’ve listed my complaints and ranted to my family and friends about how I’d like my “former life” back. But isn’t it just like God to grow us through times we never could’ve imagined walking through. 

So my question for myself has been what kind of normal do I want to step back into? The kind that sacrifices people and time with God and everyday magic to all consuming business? 

I don’t know about you, but when normal returns I want to hold onto the perspective of time I’ve been reminded of and give relationships the place they should have in my life. 

*happy sigh*

What’s one thing you’ve been grateful for during this pandemic? 

6 thoughts on “Gratefulness in the Midst of a Pandemic”

  1. I agree, this time has really re-shaped, and re-prioritized basically everything! I hope that I can maintain this new outlook, as well.
    One thing I am very grateful for is my home. Working out in the garden, and inside on different projects, has really kept me grounded through all of this. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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