Saying Thanks For Things I’m Grateful For

T’s teacher gave a wonderful assignment that asked T to watch a video explaining what gratitude is and to create a thank you card for something he was grateful for.

The hubby and T worked together to create a simple card (pictured below) and T said he was thankful for the playground, even though it is closed these days.

T gave me the card and said thank you for taking him to the playground and the sentiment made me happy, especially since I was in the middle of a busy day at work.

The global COVID-19 crisis has impacted everyone in different and difficult ways. I’ve certainly written about its impact on my family as we self isolated the last nine weeks.

It is so easy to slip into negativity, as I find myself wandering towards when I’m having a hard day, and I’ve always found gratitude is a helpful remedy in reframing my view of a situation.

So I’m doing T’s assignment and sharing my list of things I‘m grateful for these days:

The cherry tree in our yard is in bloom.
  • I’m thankful my loved ones and myself are healthy and stable and this is something I remind myself of every day, especially during the moments, and there sure are many of them these days, when I’m having a hard time dealing with this all.
  • The gift of concentrated time with my family is the most wonderful thing in this situation. Being able to wake up and ease my way into the day with my family, eating meals together, going for a walk during work breaks with T, and getting a more focused front row seat to T’s incremental growth.
  • The invaluable supports we get from T’s teachers has made the challenging tasks of T’s schooling less painful. The detailed and daily lesson plans and varied activities, our daily video check in calls and our weekly class hangout have all helped in keeping T learning each and every day.
  • Community supports from the Surrey Place and Community Living Toronto are helping our family cope. We have regular check ins with T’s behaviour therapist. I speak and purge every few weeks with our child psychologist. The wonderful staff from both organizations email us frequent tips and resources for T.
  • Amazing colleagues and collaborators have inspired me with their adaptability and ingenuity during this pandemic and have made the challenge of simultaneously working, parenting and schooling from home less painful and even fun!
  • Having a roof over our heads is something I will never take for granted, especially when I think about how home and food security are even more of a concern for so many during this crisis. I’m thankful we moved into our home a year ago that has the space and a yard for T to run around and burn his endless energy.
  • I have amazing friends, some of whom I have known for nearly three decades. Seeing their hopeful updates or humourous rants on social media, communicating with them on messaging apps, or my Sunday afternoon Zoom calls with my junior high friends all help in reminding me that we’re all in this together, for better or for worse.
  • Finding unexpected humour in the absurdity of life right now like when T farts out loud while I’m on a work call or when I’m unknowingly singing the SheRa theme song out loud in the shower while the hubby is on a work call are moments we never had in normal times. And I love these spontaneous moments of laughter.
Spotted the oriole for the first time!
  • The resilience of nature reminds me that even in somber times, nature prevails all around us. Beautiful white cherry blossoms (pictured above). The purples, oranges, red, yellows and greens popping up in our garden. The beautiful colours and songs of birds – cardinals, goldfinches, blue jays, orioles – in our yard. Even the yellow dandelion-covered field behind our home all remind me that there are bright spots in our world that counter the darkness. We can refocus our gaze towards them.
  • Everyone who is working hard so our family can stay home. Healthcare workers, grocery store and restaurant workers, public transit workers, and those demonstrating tremendous initiative in mobilizing the community to help those in need. This list is long and every one of these individuals are heroes and awesome in my eyes.
  • Being able to relax a bit. While I feel a lot of stress, parental guilt, anxiety and scatteredness these days, I do get to sleep in during the work day, take naps on weekends and stay up later, because I don’t have to sleep at 9 like I used to. I use the additional time to watch TV (a luxury for me!) and I’ve been enjoying the reruns of Y&R and watching childhood favorites and introducing these movies and shows to T.
  • The hubby has been my rock through this all. We’ve certainly been getting on each other’s nerves and have been very testy at times with each other. But it’s because we are both dealing with a lot. I’m thankful we have, for the most part, worked very well as a team and keeping one thing in mind – T’s best interests. He’s been pulling insane hours at work, staying up till 1 or 2 am every night, and so I’m thankful he has a week off work this coming week to rest.
  • And lastly, our lovable pest, T, continues to teach us so much about life and ourselves. He is the number 1 source of our stress these days, directly and indirectly, because he is at an age that requires so much hand holding. But he is also the number source of our joy. He’s made so many gains during this pandemic and it’s been a pleasure seeing them up close. Seeing his young imaginative mind work, like when he made a game out of avoiding the dandelions in the open field (pictured at top) like they were land mines, fill me with amusement and happiness.

That list above is by no means a complete one. But I feel better having spent time on this quiet exercise – even telling T to leave me alone and him actually listening!

I acknowledge that despite the challenges and frustration I feel, I am in a good spot and I’m not dealing with hardships many others are. I remind myself – and try to teach T in a way his young mind can understand – not to take the positives in our lives for granted.

Whatever you are dealing with and wherever you are right now, I hope that you are and that you can stay well and take good care.

35 thoughts on “Saying Thanks For Things I’m Grateful For

  1. Going on a gratitude run is always awesome! I myself am always thankful that my loved ones are doing all right, and that fact alone does help me through tough days. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great article on gratitude and parenting. Gratitude is a habit that when practiced regularly an individual’s negative psychology to a positive one. It brings fruits and blessings to the one who practices it and to those in close contact of a grateful one.

  3. Thank you for this reminder to practice gratitude. When we are grateful for our resources we make the best use of them. Gratitude is not just an intellectual exercise but it is an important skill to have in life.

  4. What an awesome exercise! It is very human to sometimes slip into that dark place of frustration, so we need to be able to have compassion on ourselves for that moment of weakness and then pull out of it. An attitude of gratitude is definitely a good exercise to help the climb out of the pit. Keep up the good work, sure it can metaphorically be “sweaty, grueling and even bloody” work but for our kids, it is worth it.

    1. Thank you, CS! I like the “attitude of gratitude” rhyme. I will remember that. 🙂 And absolutely agree with you, it is worth it for the kids! Please take good care and stay well.

  5. I have many of the same feelings as you as I care for my 5 & 9 year old grandkids. My daughter is a nurse so they stayed here for 2 two months. They have helped keep our minds off reality with their laughter and fun. Stay safe.

    1. Thank you for sharing this, Diane. How amazing of you to care for your grandkids; I bet they are well fed with your yummy recipes. 🙂 And thank you to your daughter for helping fight this pandemic!

  6. This is a really good idea. There was a point where I was really down in the middle of all this and thinking about what was good that day really helped. May need to do this again!

    1. I’m glad to read you are back into the groove of things! 🙂 I sometimes have to throw in a few colourful words or sarcasm when I’m doing my gratitude list. Haha. Whatever it takes!

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