So, last night I decided to sign up for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. I almost (but didn’t) signed up for the Slice of Life Challenge and then *waves hands* all of this happened, and I kind of regretted the choice. A global pandemic was (is) happening, and I had not committed to blogging during that time, which meant I was not blogging about it. Obviously, that could not stand, so here I am, blogging from A to Z.
When I signed up for the challenge, I said that my theme would be either gratitude or, you know, something related to living through the pandemic, so after giving it some thought, I have decided that I’m going to focus on my survival/coping strategies while practicing social distancing. What are the things that make it bearable? What helps alleviate my stress and fear–or at least what distracts me from both?
Yes, one of those things is my attitude, which is where I’m starting my blogging alphabet. Like I said, I did almost choose gratitude as my theme and that’s mostly because I try every day to practice gratitude–or, to keep it on alphabet–have an attitude of gratitude, and that’s mostly because gratitude keeps me focused on the present moment and helps me keep my head where my feet are. Right now, my daughter, my parents, and I are healthy. Right now, everyone in my family is safe. Right now, I have somewhere to live and enough food to eat, etc. So when I get stressed or afraid, I get to look around and see where I am right now in the present moment and what’s happening with me. That doesn’t mean the world and everything *waves hands again* out there isn’t scary, but it just means that right now, I can stay present.
I think the other part is that I am taking social distancing very seriously. My deepest fear is that I’ll be an asymptomatic carrier who gets the people I love–or people like them–sick. My mother is immunocompromised, several of my friends are immunocompromised, and, even though neither of my grandparents are here anymore, I would be devastated if I ever got them sick. (The fact that I’m not afraid of getting sick myself is a whole other issue that I should probably discuss in therapy.) So I take the attitude that has been touted by many health professionals: act as if I’m an asymptomatic carrier and keep myself home and away from other people.
I know there are a lot of people who aren’t doing what they’re supposed to re: this whole thing. They’re being reckless or think maybe everything is overblown, and, yes, it sucks a lot, and I wish they wouldn’t do that. But I know a whole, whole, whole lot of people who are doing the right thing and who are following the rules, and I know I’m doing what I’m supposed to do, and I know all of us who are doing all we can to keep others safe are making a huge difference in how much COVID-19 spreads. Do I wish everyone were doing what they were supposed to? Yes. Do I know those people are putting themselves and others in danger? Also yes. But I also know that if I focus on those of us who are doing what’s right, it shows me that I have chosen the right people to be friends with, that I know compassionate and loving people, and that we’re all doing our part to slow the spread of the virus and that means a whole lot to me. In fact, it means everything right now. Because those loving actions give me hope. And I need a whole lot of it right now.