Choosing to Remain Hopeful in the Midst of a Global Pandemic
About a year ago, I started a simple daily habit of writing down three things that I was grateful for each day. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this, but at first it seemed challenging to pick even just a few things, and there were a lot of duplicated items day-to-day, week-to-week. Then, months later, came the start of a coronavirus that would soon grow to global pandemic proportions, thrusting our world into unexpected changes and challenges.
Despite a deluge of new fears and uncertainties, my daily habits continued, and I persisted in writing down my top three reasons to be grateful, even when everything was in turmoil and seemed like our troubles would never end. Sometimes I would even add a fourth item, because often there was something else important I just had to include on my daily list.
Around the time I started with this exercise, I also began practicing meditation, with the intention of being more focused on the present— having a desire to be more “mindful” and to get as much as I could out of each and every day. Eventually, I found that even despite the ongoing barrage of bad news, there was usually something to be thankful for each day-- even moments where we could share a laugh or two. Amongst the never-ending stresses of life, I was still able to find some bright spots buried within.
First and foremost, I am grateful for the love and emotional support of my partner Heather, my Mom & Dad, brothers, extended family and friends. Like others, we are doing our best to remain connected, safe, encouraging and sympathetic during these challenging times. I am grateful for the close working relationships with clients and colleagues built over the years, and the continuing opportunity to collaborate even when they themselves might be facing uncertain futures. Also, despite the disruptions that have greatly impacted our lives, industry, businesses and financial stability, I’m grateful for the freedom to also consider other avenues for personal and professional growth-- even a chance to reignite old passion projects. And I am very grateful for the countless others who risk their safety every day to help us all, including the medical professionals and scientists who continue to adapt and learn more about combating this deadly virus.
What started out as a simple exercise in gratefulness has eventually grown into something I look forward to every day. A constant reminder to be thankful for what I already have present in my life — especially the people whom I care deeply for. Even the simplest of gestures and serendipitous moments can seem remarkable, if you choose to remain hopeful.
This pandemic will eventually end, and things will probably be a lot different than they were before. We have the strength and determination to survive this and will hopefully gain a new perspective on ourselves along the way, with closer bonds formed, new-found personal strength, and so many more reasons to be grateful.
© 2020 - Mike Konstan