‘Exhausting’, ‘Lost’, ‘Chaotic’ – these were the words readers of The Washington Post gave when asked to describe 2020 in one word or phrase.

As all of us got used to the new normal brought about by the pandemic and eagerly expecting to see light at the end of the tunnel, these are the words that echo our lives too. Social distancing has quickly transformed from the phrase that few people have ever heard to the one repeated the maximum, invoking a sense of loneliness and isolation.

Maintaining hope is also essential in times like this. But during times like the pandemic, finding hope can be hard. One way to be optimistic and hopeful is to focus on the good things happened during the period. Can you think of one change in your life, that probably would not have happened, but for the pandemic?

In our family, it is the way we bonded in doing the daily chores in the house. We have crossed more than a year without any helpers. Every one learned to cook, all took turns to clean the house, do the laundry, washing vessels, water the plants and so on. Seeing our children taking responsibility for their own share of the chores was heartening.

Could be new ways to stay connected and help each other. Teaching your elderly parents to make a video call so that you are able to see each other from a long distance, or meeting friends virtually and sharing emotions or collecting funds over the social media to help the needy, are all examples of this. Padmini P.S., an 83-year-old retired school teacher from Kerala organised a virtual exhibition of her artworks. The fund raised helped to build a house for a 14-year-old girl who lived in a dilapidated house. “All my age-related discomforts vanished when I put my heart into the exhibition,” she said.

Maybe you managed to shrink the monthly budget into half by learning to live with what is available. Very often we have unnecessary, surplus and unutilized items lying around. There were many who took it as a challenge to work around with the things in the cupboard, being creative on the menu and experiencing a whole new feeling of fun with frugality. At least few would have realised that they could have avoided unnecessary travel and spent more time with family.

If possible, note the positive impacts down on a diary or stick it on to a place that you can see.

Many people started keeping a gratitude journal since the pandemic hit. They found it one of the ways to tap into that ray of hope.

Give yourself a pat on the back!!! After all life has taken a change for good.

Aruni Joseph (Parent)

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