A thought, gratitude

Photo by Dzenina Lukac from Pexels

Remember that this is all temporary and will soon come to pass.

That’s what I’ve told myself during the times where I’ve dipped very low. I remember the times when I was an under and unemployed grad making less than minimum wage doing transcription work at home. I guess Amazon Mechanical Turk workers feel this too, even though it does provide opportunities for people to work. Low-paid work. Very low-paid work.

And now, here I find myself working from home again. Except now this is a public mandate and thank goodness, I’m definitely making more than minimum wage.

If you know me well enough, you’ll know that I am mostly a homebody that likes travel. Obviously now, international travel is out of the question but a confession here: I’ve never visited the South Island of New Zealand. Sure, I’ve been living here for close to 30 years (oh my) but I was always drawn to greener grass, over the seas. So now that I’m in this predicament, I might as well just roll with the punches.

The thing is, you will never learn to be grateful if you choose to keep on choosing to focus and chase after things that don’t matter. I believe that for the most part, happiness is a choice. I’m sure we all know someone who’s a miserly tightwad with more cash than the majority, yet chooses to not spend that money or give it away. I’m not here to tell you how to feel or how you should feel, since feelings are a natural physiological response to your circumstances. All I’m saying is, although we can’t change some things, there are at least a few things we can control.

It was actually really strange but I have to admit that paradoxically, most of my anxiety dissipated when news of the the pandemic broke out and that we would have to go into lockdown. It was almost as if all my previous experiences being so low and ridden with self-doubt played out worse in my mind. To me, I had already experienced something that I had perceived as much worse than what I am experiencing now. Don’t get me wrong, I am not downplaying the issue here. It is serious – people are losing their lives, jobs and other valuable things during this pandemic. All I am doing is giving my own personal view of where I stand and how I feel at these moments.

I guess it all boils down to one word in the end: gratitude. Even in times of darkness, there is still a glimmer of hope. You can choose to seek light. Or darkness. They cannot exist without each other and life-and-death situations really help put things into perspective. Suddenly those things that I used to worry about no longer phase me. My friends, family and health are at the forefront. They’ve always been important; yet now even more so. It’s hard not to be thankful for these kinds of things nowadays. After all, you only begin to realize that you should clutch harder onto your cloth just as the wind comes to take it away.