Gratitude, Even During this Difficult Time

sad woman in her apartment

“Sometimes, it feels like the end of the world.” I heard this from a friend the other day, and I had no response to offer. In  the middle of this terrible health and economic crisis, it’s hard to hold on to optimism when there’s no end in sight.

This is a difficult time, made more difficult by the edict of “social distancing.” We can’t even hug our neighbors or have dinner with friends to connect and share some laughs. At least not in person.

Here are some things we can be grateful for, even in the midst of all this uncertainty.

  • Technology means we can stay in touch and see loved ones, even if we can’t be in the same space. FaceTime, Skype, and other  apps and devices can keep us connected with parents in nursing facilities or friends and family who can’t travel. Phones carry voice, but being able to see someone smile (or cry) feels like an even stronger connection.
  • Technology also allows us to order supplies, food, and services delivered to us with just a few clicks. These services are also keeping thousands of workers employed and restaurants in business, helping them hang on for a few more weeks. The apps also allow us to pay for these supplies and services without physical contact, helping us and the workers who are on the front lines of delivery stay safe.
  • Kids can keep up with homework assignments and stay connected to teachers via technology. A mom recently showed me how her daughter’s private school principal starts each morning on Facebook live, greeting students, leading them in the Pledge of Allegiance, and reading school announcements. It helps students at home start their day with a sense of continuity and security and helps them get ready to focus on school work.
  • Since the news online and in traditional media feels so scary, more and more of us are turning off devices and connecting with family, playing old fashioned board games, exercising or going for walks, and reading. Maybe these are habits we’ll retain after the crisis passes.

We’ll never take small pleasures for granted again. Dinner out, entertaining friends, hugs and handshakes, play dates… these all seem like luxuries right now.

We’ll get through this eventually, and I hope we come out on the other side more grateful, more generous, and more kind.

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