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It looks like we are turning the corner regarding the pandemic.  We all can’t wait to go back to normal.  I can’t wait to travel again, go to a crowded stadium, and even have many people over to my house.

 I have some thoughts about the way to look at the last year and how you can enjoy life in the future.  It all comes down to perspective and having the right perspective.  We all have a narrative about how we processed the last year.  The more you make the best of the unfortunate situation, the more prepared you will be to succeed and, more importantly, enjoy life.

 A little caveat- some people may have had some very painful experiences during this time.  Some have lost a job, a home, a business, or the ultimate loss— a loved one.  To anyone feeling the pain of these losses, I truly empathize with you.  However, if you experienced only inconvenience, then this is for you.  

 There is much to be grateful for during this pandemic.  I have learned that gratitude is not about ignoring the negative.  Gratitude is about counterbalancing the negative with the positive.  This is something that my disability taught me.

I always felt that my disability tainted the way I experienced life.  There were activities that were downright taken away from me.  I wish that I could drive a car, give a presentation with free-flowing speech, cook something random, throw a football with my sons, there’s a whole list of activities I wish I could do.  On the other hand, I am blessed to have the life that I do.  I’m not mute.  I have enough control that I can drive an electric wheelchair, get around the house without assistance, and use a big keyboard to type.  Although all of these things are more challenging, I’m still able to do them.  

 The way I enjoy life is a choice and the way you interpret this time is also a choice.

 Although this time has been challenging for everybody there are blessings that are truly remarkable and we should focus on them even if only for just a couple of minutes.  First, we have the scientists that came up with the vaccine in record time.  Second, in every industry, from restaurants to gyms to movie theaters, there has been an effort to get back to normal.  Third, is the frontline workers who have risked their health to serve us and keep everything going.  Lastly, is the political institutions that have monetary mechanisms that have kept the economy from spiraling down.  Although none of this may have been perfect, it has been enough to keep everything rolling at least to some extent.

 Can you imagine if the pandemic hit a couple of decades ago?  Since technology has exploded over the last couple of decades, the advancements really made life during the pandemic a whole lot easier.  We have video conferencing that allows businesses and individuals to stay in touch.  This also allows for remote learning.  We have video streaming services that kept us entertained.  We also have delivery services that can bring us food, most products, and even adult beverages.  Thankfully, we have the technology that has at least allowed us to continue to function in a fairly safe manner.

 As the end of this pandemic is in our sights let's get excited about the future. Let’s focus on the blessings in our lives and more importantly let’s have a greater appreciation for life’s little pleasures.  Sitting in a crowd.  Having a dinner party.  Watching little league games.  Going to the mall or a gym.  Not wearing a mask.  When this is all over, let’s really appreciate life’s little pleasures.  Oftentimes, when I’m driving in my wheelchair I think to myself imagine if I were more limited that I couldn’t do this.

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