We tend to focus on gratitude in our home.
It’s very easy to focus on what we’ve lost during this time. Lost jobs, lost experiences, lost lives.
Flipping that narrative though to look for what we’ve gained? Can we do that instead? Can we ask ourselves what is this teaching us, uncovering for us, making us hone in on?
Because I think if you can find little tiny pieces of light in the darkness, that’s what you should focus on.
I wanted to share our list of things we learned to be grateful for during this “unprecedented” time of Covid-19.
The Power of Healthy Habits
I will talk all day long about the power of habits, especially the ones that nourish your body and spirit. We leaned HARD onto the foundation of health that we had already built and found new ways to stay active. Long family walks, the Peloton and Rise Apps, and incorporating home workouts in the place of the gym all have kept us going through quarantine. We didn’t learn the POWER of them until our routine was put to the test and we had to ask ourselves who we wanted to be coming out of this…… Did we want to throw in the towel and just Netflix and chill? Or did we want to come out of this quarantine stronger, better, faster, and more healthy than we went into it? Our ROUTINE helped keep us on track and I’m so grateful that we learned that over the last 6 months.
The Power of A Budget & Emergency Savings
I am not a saver. I would rather buy pretty shiny things at Target than save money but thankfully, my husband is ridiculously fiscally responsible. We’ve always had the goal of being debt free and lived well below our means even though that severely impedes my ability to buy awesome things at Target at times. Having a chronic disease and a child with special needs forces you to do that and forces you to plan for the worst. We have to have a solid savings account in case my cancer comes back and I can’t work. We have to have a solid financial foundation in case Callie’s next prosthetic is deemed unnecessary by the insurance company. We have to be smart with our money because insulin is expensive. As the financial implications of Covid started trickling in across the county, it was very apparent how crippling this would be for some families–and my heart broke for them. Honestly, and much to my own chagrin, I have never been so grateful to my husband and his financial savvy. We were safe because we hadn’t run out and bought a bigger house, financed a bunch of furniture and cars, or took extravagant vacations to keep up with the “Joneses.” Those times I didn’t “add to cart,” didn’t go buy an expensive purse, and socked money towards our debt/savings account meant we were on solid ground if something terrible did happen. One of the most crystal clear lessons we’ve learned about Covid, is plan for the worst.
The Power of Technology
We pivoted HARD with Covid, and to some extent, I don’t think we are done quite yet. We’ve had to figure out how to go to school, how to join meetings, how to go to doctor’s appointments, how to interact with friends and family, and how to connect with others all virtually. I’ve moved to a work from home environment and Callie does virtual school–all thanks to technology. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to be able to connect with everyone again in real life and hand out hugs like it’s my part time job, but I’m amazed at how we still can “connect” to others. I had the opportunity to “virtually” participate in several conferences I wouldn’t have been able to attend had the quarantine not happened and I think it’s brought into focus discussions on accessibility and access to things for all abilities. Now that we know we can do virtual doctors appointments–can we offer that option to people with physical challenges? Now that we know we can do a virtual work environment, can we offer that to expecting mothers or people that need an accommodation for a sick family member?
The Power of Pivoting
I have to admit, we have a certain unfair advantage over most with our ability to pivot. We have been doing it for a very long time–picking ourselves up when we get knocked down, getting back on track when we get thrown off course, and moving quickly when things change in an instant. Our family has had it’s share of hardships so we’re able to see a challenge for what it is instead of what it could be. We’re able to look back at all the hurdles we’ve overcome and use them as a reference point for today. I’ve always said that one of my sheer talents is adaptability and that was brought into play with Covid-19. We went into lockdown immediately and with each challenge it was the same mantra.
“Figure it out.”
And that’s what we did. Whether it was pivoting because my husband was working extremely long hours as a first responder, or trying to figure out how to plan Callie’s upcoming surgery, or figuring out how to get groceries and prescriptions when there were shortages….we figured it out the same way we’ve figured much of our lives. Grace, flexibility, gratitude, determination, and a bit of humor sprinkled on top. Together.
The Power of New Traditions
Every Sunday for the last 6 months, we’ve had brunch together. I make it for our little family after I get back from my morning workout. Sometimes it’s pancakes, sometimes it’s bacon and egg breakfast sammies on fresh croissants…..which we’ve never done before Covid forced us to slow down. Sundays are now made for reading books, lounge wear, and slow dancing in the kitchen. Our weekends used to be so hectic–dance lessons, riding lessons, mountains of laundry, cleaning the house, writing articles–with barely anytime to breathe let alone do something relaxing. We’re finding ways to incorporate new “traditions” into this chapter of our lives. Whether it’s Sunday brunch, Movie nights on Fridays, family walks, or weekly trips for slushies, the “small” things have become the “big” things during this season. These little amazing moments within the walls of our home will be what Callie remembers during this time and I’m grateful that we’ve made every attempt to create fun things for her to look forward to.
The Power of Toilet Paper and Hand Sanitizer
Moving forward, I probably will always have our house fully stocked with toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and at least a week’s worth of food in the pantry. I always have plenty of insulin and diabetes supplies on standby…but toilet paper? The pandemic has brought into focus how important “being prepared” truly can be. I’m reminded of my grandparents who lived through the Great Depression and always had a fully stocked cellar. My grandmother would save EVERYTHING–from newspapers, to fabric scraps, to the plastic Cool Whip containers just in case she needed it for something. I found myself being very anxious at the start of quarantine because I didn’t think we would have enough food or milk or heaven forbid, coffee creamer. My anxiety has slowed down in that aspect but we’ve definitely taken some long term changes to heart and make sure that we have plenty of canned goods, paper towels, batteries, toilet paper, and essentials on hand.
This time frame in our lives, it’s a chapter. It’s not the whole book or the whole story. The perspective will either become your prison or your passport–you get to decide which one you pick. For our little family, it’s choosing to seek out joy in the small moments, practicing gratitude every day, and looking for all of the learning moments that we can during this season of life.
And keeping fully stocked on toilet paper, of course.