I’m thanking the gods for social media, because I have no social life off-line. None, zilch, zero, nada. If it weren’t for technology, this plague would be so much more difficult, and I am grateful for the brilliant minds that are allowing us to continue being human even if we can’t hug.
I have always loved nature, and this past year each day gets appreciated. Every day is different. Some are roller-coasters, and some are almost too peaceful (of course, if it gets too boring, there’s always the news). Seeing the green grass poke through the earth for yet another spring is actually a treasure and a sign. We will continue to grow even after a very dark winter.
It will still be a while before we can live life semi-normally again. Things have changed, and not all for the bad. Just the extra hand washing is actually going to save lives, and I believe that many of the health practices we have been engaging in for the past year will continue.
Spring is a time of rebirth and of new beginnings, and it’s coming none too soon. A lot of people are making a fresh start and many not by their own choice. But newness brings with it a sense of excitement and perhaps some joy. A lot was lost, but we can regrow, rebuild and reimagine what the future holds. And we have some time to do that now.
I hope we get another super bloom this year, that the creeks all have running water, and all the critters are playful. Before the pandemic, these things meant something to me but not as much. I’m feeling more grateful than ever for these things as well as for human connection.
When you’re not seeing anyone outside your household, it can get lonely. We are social creatures who thrive off our interactions with others. Even if you have a loving family, you may need a little more. Knowing that better now will help you take stock of your friendships, and I suspect we will all be putting more into our relationships as we heal from the loneliness of the pandemic.
Walks on a nice spring day, meals prepared with love and care, and doing a little something to make our home life better are all things that we used to rush through to get to other things. Now they have become more central in our daily lives, we take them at a slower pace. That slowing down is not bad at all; it actually lets us take in more of what it is we really need and want from life.
Once our attention moves from “making it” to survival, we learn the difference between what is important and what we’ve just been doing to fill our time or feel successful. We remember to take in the beauty of a sunrise or truly appreciate and trust the love of another human being.
These are the things that make life worth living, be it in a trailer or a mansion. When you can appreciate life when it’s blooming and the love surrounding you, you truly do have it all.
Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, Calif., is the author of "The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time." Follow his daily insights on Twitter at @BartonGoldsmith, or email him at Barton@bartongoldsmith.com. ©2021 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.