I don’t know about you but lockdown #2 is not my idea of fun. I have a 5-month-old baby boy who is undeniably adorable and after lockdown #1, which was when he entered the world, I wasn’t expecting another one.
In response to my negativity and sadness about lockdown #2, I found myself growing angrier the more I thought about it, and so I knew I had to do something about it. I wrote a list of things that I can control and a list of things I can’t.
On my ‘can’ list there were things such as, what toys Caleb and I could play with, what music we could listen to, what I could pick up to read, how often I looked at my phone and spent on social media, where we could go for walks, what we could watch on TV, what time I should go to bed, how I could treat and talk to others, who we could speak to on video calls.
On my ‘can’t’ list there were things like, no longer able to go swimming with Caleb, no longer able to go on coffee dates with friends, no longer able to eat out, no longer able to have people round to visit, no longer able to go and visit my parents’ new house just 1 hour away rather than 3.
All of the above seem to be quite small compared, but(!), simply writing these lists down on a physical piece of paper helped me to see that there are choices I can make rather than believing I am completely trapped. It is so easy to unintentionally allow our thoughts to spiral out of control when really hope, love and peace can win alongside a bit of awareness.
Most importantly, however, a third list must exist, and that list needs to be of things I am grateful for. ‘First world problems’ is often a phrase I use to put things I complain about into perspective because, in reality, I am blessed beyond belief. I have a warm and solid roof over my head, I have money in the bank and food in the fridge, I even have a couple of ASDA delivery slots booked for the next couple of weeks whilst having to self-isolate, I have a beautiful family and solid friends, I have a loving church family and a generous and forgiving God, I am blessed! The truth is, gratitude is more powerful than we could ever imagine and might be one of the things that help us journey through this next season.
Why not start writing three lists; one of the things you can control, another of the things you can’t, and the last of things that you’re grateful for. You never know, it might change your perspective as it did for me.