Sometimes I feel like this COVID-19 pandemic has been one long day. As the days turn into weeks, and the weeks turn into months, it feels like nothing is happening. People aren’t doing anything. We’re not going anywhere. We’re just sort of existing.
Furthermore, I’ve found that I don’t have many good days anymore. I don’t have many bad days either. Mostly, I just have these weird, almost ephemeral days that don’t really register anywhere on either spectrum. I wake up. I go to work. I get the kids to bed. I go to sleep. Rinse. Repeat. Day after day after day after day. Mostly devoid of any highs and lows. No mountaintops. No valleys. Just flat stretches of land as far as the eye can see. Much like my Mississippi Delta home.
Now, you may think that this sounds sad, boring, or something in between, but bear with me. It’s actually an amazing opportunity, because in the midst of this monotony, it’s become a little easier to see that I do have a lot be thankful for. When life takes on the characteristics of a flat line (as it will at times), it becomes a little bit easier to take inventory of our many blessings. When nothing moves the line, everything has a chance to, right?
For example, I have a wife and two healthy children. A fully-realized family. I have a roof over my head. We drive reliable vehicles. We have a computer. We have a TV. We have phones. All of our bills are paid. If I stopped counting my blessings right here, I would still have much more than I could have ever dreamed of if you’d have asked 12-year old me how he figured his life would play out. I never expected to have anything going on in my life besides watching sports and playing video games, if I’m being honest.
Man, if I’d only known.
And the sad part about all of this is that I still manage to wake up some mornings, surrounded by all of these blessings, as discontented as I’ve ever been. I don’t want to get up. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I don’t want to go to work. I don’t want to see my kids. I don’t want to do anything. I just want to mope around like my life is some unmitigated disaster that I’m doomed to simply survive, let alone really live.
That’s why it’s so important to keep an inventory of our blessings, and to check it regularly.
Life can get away from us if we let it. I’ve heard it said that life is rarely as good as we think it is, or as bad as we think it is. The reality is that we often find ourselves somewhere in the middle, and the only way to keep our chins up is to be intentional about recognizing what it is that we do have, and to not give our lives over to the constant desire for more. Either approach can become a habit.
It’s not always easy. I get it.
I just hope that in our constant search for more, we’re sometimes able to see that we’re already surrounded by it.