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Challenge: Life Changes

WE'RE ALL INFECTED

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WE'RE ALL INFECTED.

If not with coronavirus, or another illness, then with busy and ingratitude.

Yes, those are viruses, too.

Busy is a virus, and so is ingratitude, and before coronavirus presented in the U.S., many of us were suffering from both.

Living each jam-packed day just trying to get to and through the next task.

Living each jam-packed day under-appreciating the living and non-living blessings that surround us.

This coronavirus is terrifying.

It's bringing tragedy and causing fear.

But -- and I make this remark with extreme hesitation because of my disgust and yes, hate, for what coronavirus has done to countries, people, families, businesses and the like -- it has done one constructive thing;

it has forced many of us to reevaluate

our lives,

the kind of home we are keeping,

how we are loving those inside it,

how we are being there for our fellow neighbors outside of it,

how we are balancing work and family life,

and prioritizing what really matters when life is uncertain and not guaranteed.

I have spent more time being present, really, truly, fully, all eyes and ears on deck kind of present with my kids, in the past week, than I probably have since they were newborns.

I have been more understanding of my spouse.

I have held fewer expectations for all of us, myself included, and for the minutes and hours that make up our day.

I have cuddled with my senior-aged pets more.

I have been praying more for others.

I've been calling my grandparents a lot.

I've been talking more to my dad in heaven, and I've continued to text constantly with my mom, because let's be real, she's always been my everyday person.

I have changed my go-go-go lifestyle with the health of others in mind.

I have begun to rely more on my own positive thoughts and self-talk to bring me the kind of joy extrinsic things and activities once would.

The coronavirus SUCKS.

I'm not even partially contending that there's any way it doesn't.

I wish it never showed it's ugly face, and I wish it would go away, like now.

BUT, because of it, I have pretty spontaneously and rapidly taken stock of my life;

how I'm living it,

who I'm living it with and for,

how I can live it better,

and how I can help even just one person do the same.

It's not a silver lining because I refuse to call it that.

I will not associate anything positive with this goddamn pandemic.

But it is a realization, an awareness that if this or any virus doesn't kill us, our propensity towards busy and ingratitude will.

Take stock of your life and your time, and what is left of both, as doing such is by far the best vaccine against mindless preoccupation with the less than important and under-valuing the really important.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.