Although my isolation from COVID-19 started in March, I cannot believe that today is the last day of April, 2020. The concept of time was unusual and challenging because although time seemed to pass by so, so slowly at times, looking back on the whole month it seemed to pass by as a blur. This doesn’t make sense to me, but then again, what about the COVID-19 makes any sense?
As my month-long project and commitment to express and appreciate gratitude comes to an end, I have experienced some good benefits. To start, I have learned to differentiate joy from happiness, which is a thought that I never contemplated before. Of course, happiness was difficult if not impossible to experience during this solitude from the COVID-19 so I was surprised to find joy. Happiness usually is triggered externally, say, from buying a new pair of shoes or enjoying a great meal at a restaurant. But these happy feelings seem to be very transitory. Joy, on the other hand, comes from within and, I have found, more spiritual in nature and therefore, lasting longer. Another thing I noticed while practicing gratitude was that small, mundane things made me happy, or was it joy? LOL. The experience of simply walking on the grass, hearing the sound of birds as well as the sound of children’s voices laughing, having the abundance of time (although a blessing and a curse), feeling true presence, and even appreciating a well cooked meal to enjoy alone without trying to please others all were simple joys that I didn’t expect. There were numerous other benefits of practicing gratitude like fully appreciating the time I had to mediate as well having the time to exercise every single day. As a matter of fact, the time for meditation and exercise were actually the two most important things that helped me get through these dark days of the isolation. Thank goodness I had the determination and fortitude to adopt these two very important life practices which ended up being my medicine.
As with each end a new one begins. The month of May is just one night’s sleep away, and none of us knows what to expect. With warmer temperatures as well as the wearing thin of the patience of the world, I pray that the world begins an emergence of a better, new normal. I am letting go of the month of April with gratitude of what it has taught me and allowed me to experience. May the new month ahead bring more joy and happiness along with a new enrichment of thoughts, experiences, and renewed Life for us all.