I have mentioned a number of times that I am lucky enough to be working from home right now. At a time where things are so uncertain, I should spend more time being grateful, but this isn’t easy. My wife is essential hospital personnel. She still goes in, which has its own anxiety, and I have our toddler a few days a week while my wife is at work. Thankfully, my in-laws take our daughter at least one day per week. Many of you may relate to the current reality of working from home with your kids. How is that going for you? I find that I feel like I am failing as a father and failing as an employee all at the same time!
Anyway. The other day I was in the middle of a stressful work project and needed to focus. My daughter had been napping, but she woke up earlier than usual. I was irritated and went in to get her, upset that she was waking up after such short a nap. She probably could read the expression on my face, and looked super sad when I picked her up. I asked her what was wrong and asked if she wanted a hug. She nodded, proceeded to burry her head in my neck, lock her arms as far around me as those little toddler arms can go, and didn’t let go for maybe 30-40 seconds. This had a profound impact on me. This elongated moment of conviction, brought upon by an innocent gesture of love and dependency by a mere toddler was huge. It shook me and I realized that things are going off the rails all over the place. People don’t have work, families have sick relatives, and here I am getting the most wonderful hug from my beautiful, healthy daughter. And on top of that, I am annoyed because it is pulling me away from work for a few minutes.
There is a lot that we can complain about right now, and for good reason. The world is in a scary place. Living through a global pandemic isn’t necessarily a course taught in school, so for many of us, this is a whole new adventure and it can be hard to see the good things in life. A simple hug brought me back to what is important right now. It reminded me to be thankful for what I have and to count my blessings.
Some of us have an opportunity that may not come again for a long time. Whether it is taking care of ourselves in a way that we don’t usually, reconnecting or strengthening our bonds with family/friends, or to sit back and view life from a different lense, we can try to find the good out of this terrible situation. I know I am speaking from a place of privilege right now. Saying how good of an opportunity this is while I work from home, employed, and in a home shows just that. I recognize this, but still feel that it is important. Despite our current situations, looking at the little things can help. The snuggle from a toddler did so much to change my perspective. What are you thankful for right now? Has anything become clearer to you in these past few weeks. Ponder this and maybe it will help.