Gratitude in the time of COVID-19

background-black-coffee-bouquet-chocolate-350345Last night, I was putting the girls to bed. Daughter #1 had a bit of a meltdown.

“I don’t want to do school tomorrow! I hate the stupid virus and I hate school at home.” Daughter #2 agreed wholeheartedly.

I took a deep breath.

I hate the virus and I wish the kids could go back to school.

“Unfortunately, this is what we have to deal with right now. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get out of house soon and visit your grandparents and aunts,” I explained. “Let’s be thankful that we have a warm house, that we have technology and internet, because not all kids have internet—”

Daughter #2, who is four years old, gasped. “Mommy! Some kids don’t have the internet?”

First world kid problems, I guess.

“Yes, baby, some kids don’t have internet or tablets or a safe place to live or food to eat and having to stay home and deal with the virus makes it worse,” I said.

They grumbled for a little longer and I explained as best as I could that we had to hang on a little longer before we’d be able to head back outside and play with friends, go to the park and spend time with our family that doesn’t live with us.

I’m an introvert and a homebody and I’m getting to the point where I miss interacting with people.

*  *  *

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to write. I’ve been finishing up my first semester teaching and that, my friends, had been interesting. The learning curve was steep and then I was thrown into teaching online—that learning curve was steeper.

Between managing work, doing distance learning with the girls and managing my own anxiety about COVID-19, it has been a stressful few weeks in my household.

Now that the semester is over and the grades have been submitted, I’m getting used to being a teacher to both a kindergartner and Grade 2 student and my anxiety is somewhat under control, I have the mental space to discuss some of my thoughts.

When I put the girls to bed—later and later each night—we pray for our friends and family. We pray for our teachers, instructors and school bus drivers. We pray for our family who are in long-term care facilities. We pray for front-line workers and healthcare staff.

And we remember to be grateful for what we have:

A neighbourhood that is filled with lakefront trails and friendly people who will wave from a distance.

A house full of love. We drive each other bonkers, but the girls will love up each other and play together. Nana and I have developed a habit of watching bad Lifetime thrillers together. Late at night, when the house is quiet and we’re about to fall asleep, Hubby and I will laugh together about the foolishness that went down in our household.

Sometimes it’s hard to remember to be grateful when there is just so much happening…and so many bad things happening. It’s easy to focus on the scary—and trust, that’s what I was doing for the first few weeks of this pandemic, but letting my anxiety get the best of me isn’t going to help me—or my family—keep things together.

And, as my pastor reminded me on Sunday, worry and faith can’t go together. It’s human to worry, but you can’t linger in it because worry never added a day to the life of anyone. (Can the church say ‘amen’?)

So while this is a difficult time for a lot of us for various reasons, we have no choice but to work through it. And keep doing what we’re doing so that we can get out of the house and back to some semblance of regular life soon.

Maybe remembering to be grateful for the blessings you find—big and small—instead of worrying during these wild times can help us keep the anxiety and frustration at bay and give us the strength we need to stay home.

Because nobody wants to isolate until Fall 2020 and beyond.

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