It has taken me a while to get back into writing with everything that is going on in the world. I guess you could say that I have needed some time to process what is really happening, and just how it is effecting my life on a personal level. I have now been out of my classroom for four weeks. That is an entire month I have been working from home, four weeks I haven’t seen my students, and thirty days of navigating distance learning without my colleagues being just a desk away. I don’t think that I had fully come to terms with social distancing, or the fact that our entire state is on lockdown. Some may say that is because I am too young to really have an understanding of how these types of things effect people other than myself. Some might insinuate that because I am youthful and healthy that I couldn’t possibly understand how high the stakes are for those of us who may be harmed by this invisible enemy. Sure, I have tuned into the governors briefings, and the presidents daily speeches, but it just hasn’t felt real. It feels as though I am going through the motions, just watching this movie of unrealistic events, but I am the main character. I have felt like i’m in my own little bubble with my dog, and Fiance, and somehow the rest of the world was just a place of its own. Until yesterday.
I was doing my usual scrolling through facebook, sending the laughing emoji for meme after meme until my thumbs got tired, but I saw something that really made me stop for a moment. It was a video from the local news station, cars were lined up for miles at the local food bank. Those people must have waited there for hours, upon hours. I couldn’t believe that there were that many cars, that that many people were in need of such a basic element of daily life – food. This image left a heavy toll on my heart. I obviously knew of local food banks and what they provided to people, but seeing this concept on such a large scale smacked me into a whole new perspective. In that moment, I had never felt so grateful to be able to put the basic necessities on the table. That moment started a snowball affect of gratitude just pouring out of me. There is so much to be grateful for in a time where everything else feels so uncertain.
What are you grateful for one might ask. A basic question asked in many instances. Sure, I have many things that I am grateful, and appreciative of, but in this moment I had never felt gratitude on such a high level. It made me really think of all the basic things in my life that I take for granted because I don’t always remember that not everyone has these essential things. During this time there is a long list of things I am so thankful to be able to appoint my gratitude on.
The ability to work. In the beginning of all of this, I was very uneasy about packing up my personal belongings, not knowing when I would be in my classroom again, not knowing when I would see the bright and shining faces that greet me every morning again. As the weeks go by I am just grateful that I have the ability to work from home, not having to worry about a lack of income like so many others around me are during these tough times. Some people have no idea when they will be returning to work – that is terrifying.
The ability to put food on the table. I have never been so grateful for such a basic necessity as I am right now. Although, the way we now go to the local grocery store is far from typical. Last weekend, my Fiance and I made our first trip of the season to my favorite local farmers market. When we arrived we were stopped by large signs on the doors, posted on neon paper, and a pack of gloves sitting on a table outside. Before we could enter we were to put on a pair of gloves, and only touch the produce we were absolutely going to purchase. This was harder than you think, I never realized how many things I touch at the grocery store that I don’t buy. At the checkout, a friendly face greeted us from behind a plexiglass shield. This was the new normal. This moment made me long for the normalcy that was previously taken advantage of by the everyday American.
My loved ones. There have been multiple instances where I have complained about being cooped up in the house with no-one to talk but myself all day, with nothing to do but clean and take way to many trips to the fridge. But, I couldn’t be more grateful for the people I surround myself with in this life. I am grateful to have these moments in quarantine with my soon to be husband. The extra time spent on the porch swing watching the dog play, and talking until the sun goes down. The ability to call my family and share in their boredom, sharing recipes and wedding ideas. This lockdown has made me really think about those individuals who don’t have moments like these to share with someone during these scary times. My gratitude lies with the friends and family that I know support me even when the rest of the world in so uncertain.
This is just a small dent within a long list of things to be grateful for, but as this war presses on, I will continue to further express my gratitude where gratitude should be paid. There are many aspects in this world that can’t be controlled right now, although this is the time that we need to remember the things that we can control. Remember not take things for granted that could easily and quickly be gone in an instance. Even when the world might be crashing down around you, there is always something to be grateful for, a light at the end of the tunnel.