Today is the first day in nearly eight days that the air quality where I live is safe enough for most people to go outside and open their doors or windows. As I'm writing this blog post, my window is open and there is a soft breeze flowing across my fingers as they fly across the keyboard. It's heaven.
Only two days ago, the air quality index (AQI) was up to 190, which is very unhealthy. We've had to seal ourselves inside of our homes and if we did go outside, we had to make sure we weren't physically exerting ourselves too much. I had to do some grocery shopping the other day, and after an hour being out I could feel the tightness in my chest each time I inhaled. And at the beginning of this week, the sky was an erie reddish, orange and I thought we were in the movie Blade Runner.
We take clear air for granted.
COVID-19 Has Shown Us What's Really Important
COVID-19 has left those of us in the United States in limbo; that's especially true for those of us in California. But even states that are mostly open continue to grapple with the effects of COVID-19 with each step they take to try and get back to "normal."
Things we used to take for granted like an impromptu gathering of friends at a local joint for Happy Hour, working out in a gym, getting a tattoo, dinner parties, weddings, birthdays, sending your child to school on his/her first day, or just going outside (for those in the West), are now precious and something some of us really yearn for.
If you think about it, there's a lot we used to take for granted prior to this new normal. You only appreciate what you've got until it's gone, right?
Riding the Roller Coaster without Getting Sick
Practicing gratitude may seem like a herculean task for many right now. I know on some days, I just want to curl up under my covers and never move. It's a roller coaster and it's important to recognize that is what life is right now. UP, down, up, DOWN, spinning sideways, climbing forever, rushing down, down, down. How can anyone find gratitude in that?
You decide that you want to. Period.
I can't tell you when but at some point you will decide that the roller coaster is here to stay and you'll look around for something to grab onto. That's where gratitude comes in. Find whatever you can, even if it's as simple as, "I'm still here." Be thankful for it, and then find something else to be thankful about. Keep doing it. Here's a list: clean sheets, a warm shower, funny videos, a friend's voice, food on your plate, your ability to laugh, comfortable socks, a roof over your head, chocolate, and much more. You've got a lot more than you realize to be thankful for. Share yours in the comments below.
My wish is that we take these unprecedented events, learn from them, and never take for granted what we have again.
Peace, love & yoga,