Finding Gratitude During COVID

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2020 is the first year many of us can agree: it sucked.  A lot, if not most of us, know someone that has been sick or passed away from COVID-19.  I don’t think I know anyone who hasn’t had a case of the COVID-blues. We can’t go anywhere without a mask. When we leave the house we wonder if this will be the time we catch this horrible virus. Our kids have been cut off from their normal way of life. We have been cut off from our normal way of life.

It’s been nine months of this. Even pregnancy doesn’t feel this long. 

Christmas finally came. For me, that is when I really think of all I have, and not all I don’t. So today, I’d like to take a minute to remember all I’m grateful for instead of all that wasn’t this year.

My Kids

For the past nine months my kids have been home. With me. All. The. Time. 

Trust me, it has sucked at times. I’m ready for them to go back to school (they are currently homeschooled), and honestly, I just want a few hours to myself. BUT with all that being said, all of this time together has completely changed my relationship with my kids for the better.

My son who is 12 is at that freaky awkward place, and I feel like we have been able to form a bond that we never had because of the hustle and bustle of school, hours of homework and sports. He is the funniest of my children and I never realized that before.

My eight-year-old has blossomed with her reading and writing. We did that! My youngest, my sweet three year old, has been able to have extended time at home whereas before, she would’ve been in preschool. I was able to gain all of this quarantine and social distancing.

My Husband

He amuses me at all times

We are seeing friends less because of the pandemic. I’m grateful I like being around my husband. That might not seem like a lot, but it is. It’s made this nightmare far more easy to manage. 

My Parents

My bubble has become so much smaller because of this pandemic, and it’s made a lot more time for me to talk to my parents. I am actually not a fan of living in SC, but I’ve always been steadfast in my refusal to move because my parents are here, and the current conditions reminded me of why. Home is where my heart is, and I have nothing but immense gratitude that I am able to be so close to my parents. 

My Furbabies

Our new furbaby

I think we’ve all been hit in different crappy ways in 2020. For me, it was the loss of four (yes, four!) of my furbabies. So please hear me out when I say this. I kind of have a bit of a zoo at my house (outside of my kids), and our pets are very much my furry children. Even with the immense loss of some of our furry family members, I’m grateful for the time I had them, and grateful for the ones that I still have. Pets are work but they’re also therapeutic, and they bring me so much joy.  

My Home

We were so excited for the new house

Even with this ridiculous year, my family was able to sell one house and buy another with more space for a large brood. I’m grateful to be able to do such an amazing thing in these times.

I suppose what prompted me to write this post today is the sheer exhaustion that comes from feeling sorry for yourself. I could keep going because there’s so much I’m thankful for. My list may be (and probably is) very different from what yours is, but the point here is to make a list. Showing gratitude, expressing it, and writing it down give us something positive to think about. 

Even in the midst of a pandemic that has stripped so much joy from us all, we have to remain grateful for all that we do have. Whether it be your friend, your child, your vehicle that takes you where you need to go, the clothes you have on, or the bed you lay in, I guarantee you have things to be grateful for. 

If you’re feeling down because of COVID, or even if you’re not, think about the things you’re grateful for and why. Look at your list and use  it to bring you joy and gratitude as we wait for (hopefully) a better year ahead. 

What are you grateful for this year?

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Simone Praylow is wife and bestest friend in the world to Otis (better known as Odor) and mom to football and soccer loving Grayson 12, competitive cheerleader Elind, 7 and tantrum expert Ozzy Voltaire, 2. She is a native of New Jersey but relocated to Key West and later Columbia. As an overachiever, she believes learning is the best gift she can give her children and spends much of her time teaching her children at home (Grayson attends school, but the learning doesn't end when he leaves the classroom). Simone finds motherhood and family life are most easily managed by having a system in place for homelife, kids' schedules (including learning, screen time and reading) and meal planning. She is an avid reader who finds books are one of the best ways to unwind at the end of the day. She spends a lot of time boxing and at Pure Barre getting her burn on. You'll often find her buried in a book or on Pinterest getting ideas for her next project or yummy meals for the family menu.

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