Appreciation is recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something. Sounds simple, but it’s easier said than done. How often do we appreciate the beauty around us? The thick, emerald green grass, vividly colored pansies of yellow and purple, the perfectly shaped budding leaves on the trees, the warmth of the sun? Or, how often do we appreciate a smile, a nod, an email from a friend, a care package, a conversation with a loved one?
If you’re like me, you take a lot of these things for granted and assume they will always be there; in Spring, there will be flowers, our partner will be there when we get home, I can call a friend later because I’m really busy and there’s always tomorrow.
This pandemic has caused me to see things through a different lens. Although the days seem like a blur with one day exactly like the one before, I see life now through a kaleidoscope, looking at things differently with each turn of the lens. The colors in my world are sharper, my time spent with Frank and my son, Brett, are especially precious, my nightly calls with my mom are more poignant.
I am making time for fun by doing puzzles together, baking all kinds of cakes and breads from recipes we never tried, taking the time to write notes to check in and express appreciation for the role someone has played/plays in my life, remembering to say, “I love you” and mean it from the bottom of my heart, and having conversations together at dinner while enjoying what I’m eating, instead of rushing on to do the next thing.
I guess what I’m saying is that because of this scary and stressful time in my life, I am actually taking the time to smell the roses and appreciate the true gifts I have, that have always been present. I have greater clarity about what is important. I have true appreciation for the things in life that make my life rich; my health, my family, my job, my friends.
Am I still anxious about when and how this will end? Of course. Do I worry about people staying safe and well? Absolutely. But I also see the silver lining. There is much to appreciate in life despite this devastating crisis.
Spend this Shabbat in contemplation and reflection and look through your kaleidoscope at all the beautiful colors that make up the fabric of your life.
Wishing you a meaningful and peaceful Shabbat.
In appreciation and Shabbat Shalom,