A day doesn’t go by without my thinking about gratitude. Attention to gratitude has provided balance in the challenge to manage the endless days of shelter-in-place since March 10th when Governor Baker declared the Covid-19 pandemic state of emergency.
It’s day 109. I am grateful to be at my computer, writing this blog after a long hiatus. I’ve missed the process of sharing the stories of a day-to-day gratitude practice. At first, the pandemic, its invisible presence, the fact, as an elder, I was labeled “high risk, ‘”filled my life with the challenge of how to adapt, how to stay safe, how to manage the anxiety of the unknown and unseen.
I’ve learned about safety—the proper way to wash my hands, not to touch my face, to wear a mask, wipe down packages, maintain distance from the postal carrier who laughingly tried to hand me a package with his bare hands, to signal “move back” to the well meaning man sans mask who stopped to chat about gardening as I watered zinnia seedlings.
I’ve learned it’s about trying to maintain as “normal” a routine as possible. I organize grocery lists, order on line weekly, cook healthy dinners filled with greens and good protein. I crave variety, use my computer to log into daily exercise videos; I show up on Facebook for every Tai Chi lesson my son, Craig, posts live from his backyard in Evanston, Illinois. I’m grateful for the miracle of clicking a link and instantly seeing him stare into the camera and say, “Good morning,” and sometimes, “Hi, Mom!”
An extravert, I miss intimate luncheons and dinners with my granddaughters and close friends, hugs from my daughter, visits from my son. I’m grateful for Zoom, the ability to chat on line with my women’s group, close friends, my writer’s group and the Lily poetry salon.
Gratitude has helped me to adapt. I’m grateful for my curiosity, my willingness to learn. During the first month of shelter-in-place, Marj Hahne, a poet from Colorado offered a free daily poetry Webinar for three weeks. I signed up. Her presence in my calendar, for nearly a month running, offered connection, consistency, craft learning, and writing. Every day, she offered a new poem. I participated in possibility— how words on the page in a variety of forms can shape an experience.
I write more freely. Today, I write this blog directly on my Word Press blog page. All my previous blogs were drafted on Word and copied after editing. Time matters to me as do you all, dear readers. I have missed talking on the page to you.
I hope to share the beauty of my soon-to-arrive July lilies. The buds are emerging daily. Until the next time, consider gratitude in small ways. Making a mental note, making a list, writing out the details; all are fine. What matters is noticing the feeling of gratitude and how it effects you. You decide the where, the what, the how. May moments of gratitude lighten your day.