After publishing my most recent post, wherein I grieved for “the pregnancy I wish I had,” I thought I would use the beginning of a new month to acknowledge not what I lost in April, but rather what I had to be grateful for.
And so, while the coronavirus and the past seven or so weeks of its resulting variations of “stay at home” orders, days spent mired in depressing national news and frustrations from what many are losing during this experience undoubtedly “sucks,” I took inspiration and the title of this post from Mark Reaman, editor of the Crested Butte News, in his recent editorial, to also acknowledge that I am blessed, many times over. There will be more difficult days ahead, but here is a short list of what I am thankful for in the past month or so:
- First and foremost, my health and that of my husband’s and baby-in-utero, as well as most of my extended family. This matters more than ever, and I pray that we will continue to stay as healthy as possible and as time allows, surround ourselves with others who will do the same.
- As my friend Brian has reminded me since the early aughts of quarantine, I say a daily thanks for “the basics” — food, clothing and shelter.
- The natural beauty that surrounds me. How happy I am to live where we do — a historic town inside a National Forest, where trails connect to our backyard and the melting snow runs to the river that weaves through our valley.
- Spring and the return of birds chirping in the morning, voiding the need for an alarm clock.
- A husband who cooks! Dan has continued to work up healthy, tasty and nutritious meals during quarantine.
- Speaking of meals, we’re incredibly lucky to have ample food at our house and to order takeout from local restaurants about once a week.
- Daily dog walks with our neighbors, which have become a staple of our “quarantine routine.”
- My physical community — we’re looking over one another and are doing our part to run errands and deliver groceries for our elderly and at-risk neighbors. There seems to be a greater sense of “in this together,” and little rays of sunshine, with hand-crafted signs up and down our street.
- My virtual community — whether it be friends or family, I have a greater sense of connection with this group. Some have sent letters, others have arranged FaceTime “happy hours,” and a lot of group texts. My favorite might be the “Sohna Corona” group text with Dan’s family — someone sends a daily prompt or question, and we are usually laughing at the various responses.
- I would be remiss not to mention the virtual community I’ve felt surrounded and supported by since starting this blog about six weeks ago. I’ve heard from fellow moms-to-be, family and friends who are mothers themselves, and family and friends in general who have been so supportive. Sharing this experience has been therapeutic and provided a safe space to express myself.
- My work community — I’m not only grateful to be employed during this time but am also thankful for an employer that is trying to navigate our new situation with as much flexibility and understanding as possible, putting a priority on our team’s health.
- Friends and family who are thinking of our upcoming birth and baby. How sweet it has been to receive texts, cards and gifts, despite the cancellation of our baby showers. Highlight of this was, without a doubt, a surprise package of Jeni’s Ice Creams from a dear friend.
As in the editorial I linked to above, I also want to think about spending the coming weeks and months ahead as part of a “growth” phase. Here is where I will vow to focus my energy, as my headspace allows:
- Finding a purpose
- Using my skills to serve others
- Showing more empathy
- Emitting hope and gratitude
- Finding ways to adapt to change
- Seeking calm and patience
- Living in the present
What are you thankful for? Where are you trying to focus your energy while staying at home?