As of today, my family has spent seven weeks staying at home due to the coronavirus pandemic. We are seven weeks into home schooling (with one fantastic week off for spring break), and practicing social distancing, which seemed odd at first and now has become our new normal.
When I type “seven weeks,” it doesn’t seem that long, but the days drag on with their repetitive flow. Multiple times a day I find myself looking at my watch wondering what day it is. With nothing but wide-open spaces on my calendar, and with sports canceled, it is hard to get excited about the monotony of life in our house.
For my own mental health, and because I love a good challenge, I decided to find as many things to be thankful for during this little season of history we’re currently living. Initially, it was hard, as the future seemed so bleak. But once I started to look for the blessings in life, they appeared all around me.
Firstly, I am not completely homebound. I exercise daily and take additional walks or runs with our dog. Occasionally, I go to the store or to a doctor’s appointment. The time I spend out of the house is a breath of fresh air. Oh, how my perspective has changed as our circumstances have changed!
I appreciate the chance to show small gestures of love and care to my friends and family. I am often frustrated with myself about my lack of follow-through when I see an opportunity or a need but don’t actually do anything tangible about it. This time of slowness has allowed me to put all the excuses aside and show others I am thinking about them.
I often have wished for time in the mornings, before hustling the kids off to school, to sit down with them to do some Bible reading. To start our morning off on the right foot as it were. Normally, we run around making sure that backpacks are ready and lunches are made. In the last seven weeks, we have started almost every morning with Bible devotions. I’m thankful for this time to begin our day listening to my kids’ hearts and having meaningful conversations with them.
Teachers! I am grateful for our school and the great teachers who work there. Because I was home-schooled, I always have said I would never home-school my kids. I have since learned never to say never. Although it has taken us a long time, in the last couple weeks, we finally have found our groove with learning at home.
This is only possible due to the hard work of our teachers. From the first day remote learning, teachers have worked tirelessly to make sure our kids continue their education during the crisis. The teachers have been so understanding of the current period of our lives, and how the change might affect each student and family member differently. Keep up the good work, teachers, you are doing an amazing job.
I am thankful for a house that’s large enough for us, and for our two TVs. On days when my husband and I feel like we need a date, we can send the kids downstairs with a giant bowl of popcorn and a movie while we have a glass of wine and watch our own show or play a game together.
I also am thankful for my routine infusions. These biweekly appointments, for which I get dressed in “real” clothes and put on makeup, make me feel human again, almost as if everything were normal (until I sit with a mask on, several feet from the person next to me). I’m glad I get to sit in a comfy chair at the appointments, with an IV in my arm, and have wonderful nurses taking care of me.
I am grateful for both my my immediate family and my extended family. Although we may grow tired of spending so much time together, I love them with all my heart. I am glad I get to spend so much time with these people who hold my heart. I know this situation is temporary, and before I know it, I will miss these days of togetherness. I am enjoying and appreciating this season together.
Writing this has been a good exercise for my heart and mind. Amid life’s ups and downs, there is always something to be thankful for. I hope to always remember to look for the bright spots, even on cloudy days.
Note: Fabry Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fabry Disease News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Fabry disease.
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