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The Joys of Quarantine

3
by Mary Grace Conrad

“The root of joy is gratefulness. For it is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” –David Steindl-Rast

Quarantine, social distancing, stay home, work from home, distance learning, essential business only, groups of 10 people or less, six feet apart. We’ve been seeing and hearing these terms and phrases since March 11, the day that Coronavirus entered the state of Mississippi. Everyone has been staying at home, working from home, and learning from home for 63 days! For nine weeks, the news reports and stories you see on social media have been negative, depressing, and scary. There are so many conspiracy theories, too, that no one even knows who to believe anymore.

When it comes to my own family, we’re all stir crazy and anxious. Working from home has been a huge stress and nearly impossible. I’m scared to leave my house; I don’t know if I should really take the time to sanitize my groceries; and I’m sad that my child has barely seen or interacted with anyone since March. I know that staying at home is what’s best right now for our health and the safety of others, but being alone for so long can really get you down. After being trapped in my own negative thoughts for weeks, I decided to start being thankful for at least one thing every day— just the small things that I never took time to notice or appreciate prior to the pandemic. A sunny day… Sleeping in past 7 o’clock… Rose bushes blooming in the yard… watching Jane play with bubbles.

So that got me thinking… what are YOU thankful for right now? I asked that question on social media and got some great responses from folks across the state of Mississippi as well as surrounding states. Some answers made me think, “Oh yeah! I’m going to be thankful for that too!” A lot of answers made me laugh out loud! In honor of being quarantined for 63 days, here are 63 things that people are grateful for: 

  1. Finding toilet paper at the store
  2. Sunny weather
  3. When my child entertains themselves for 30 minutes
  4. Wearing pajamas all day
  5. Living at a slower pace
  6. Having more time for conversations
  7. My job and still getting paid
  8. Extra time for house projects
  9. Spending time with my children
  10. Church and being able to worship/fellowship in person again
  11. When the grocery store has every item on my list in stock
  12. A quiet place to work
  13. Hugs
  14. My grandparents
  15. Being able to squeeze and snuggle my kids and not worrying about what I “should” be doing
  16. Doctors and nurses
  17. Taking time to do messy and fun activities with my kids
  18. Seeing our community step up and donate masks and supplies to hospitals
  19. Going on walks
  20. Sunsets and taking time to enjoy them
  21. Going fishing and spending more time outdoors
  22. Video chats with family
  23. Seeing how happy my dog is now that I’m home 24/7
  24. Being able to sit down and really enjoy my coffee and devotional
  25. Not having to panic-clean for visitors
  26. Going on picnics… I never had time for things like that before
  27. My kids are becoming more creative and imaginative
  28. I have more time to spend with my spouse
  29. I started my first garden and I’m really proud to see everything growing
  30. I’m thankful that they’ll be able to fix the haircut that I gave myself
  31. Teachers… school is more than “just school”
  32. Eating dinner together as a family
  33. Reading and finishing a book that I bought years ago
  34. Finishing a 1,000-piece puzzle
  35. My kid is finally potty-trained
  36. I don’t worry about what I look like anymore
  37. Saving money on gas
  38. Grocery pickup
  39. Ordering take-out
  40. Running into a friend at the store
  41. My children have learned to play and get along with each other
  42. Mowing the yard and gardening
  43. Coloring with chalk with my kids
  44. Seeing pictures of families on Facebook having fun together
  45. Letting my kids get messy at dinner
  46. Building forts with furniture and blankets
  47. My health
  48. Everyone in my family is safe and healthy
  49. Waking up another day… every day is a gift
  50. I get to witness my kids reach milestones instead of hearing about it from daycare
  51. Cooking a meal that everyone enjoys
  52. Pedicures, whenever I can get one again
  53. Seeing that there’s still enough wine in the bottle for one more glass
  54. Thankful that my children have each other for siblings. They are best friends now.
  55. Having time for hobbies
  56. That this happened at the end of the school year instead of the beginning
  57. Having time to teach my kids important life skills
  58. A husband who’s out of school and can help with my toddler + newborn
  59. Listening to online sermons- thankful that Pastors are still working hard to have church services
  60. Getting better at playing guitar
  61. Seeing an amazon package at the door
  62. Letting my kids help me cook more. I don’t care or freak out about messes anymore.
  63. My dad recovered from Coronavirus, praise the Lord!

Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again; Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.   Philippians 4:4-8

3 Comments

Wonderful words! I can relate to most of these 63 things. Thank you, God!!!
Thank you for the encouraging words. I've been singing, and meaning this -- " I've got joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, down in my heart today!"
Love this and love the positivity you brought out in others by asking this question! Thanks for sharing this encouragement, MG!

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