The Thing I’m Most Grateful For in a Time of Uncertainty

I am the literal worst when it comes to being up-to-date on current events. I don’t watch the news. Lately not even that much tv. I think it’s just because I’ve become so possessive over my mindset and my time—probably to an extreme degree—that I find very few reasons worthy enough to take my eyes off the ball for some fleeting moment.

So on Wednesday March 11, 2020, I was still going about my usual life. Working at the office. Lunch with a friend. Making reservations at my family’s favorite place for the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day celebrations* (a holiday we observe and ALWAYS take off to spend together).

When I got home, I just so happened to decide to turn on the television. My guilty pleasure is CNN. I just love catching up on a little Anderson Cooper.
Had I heard what was going on at the time? Of course. My husband had expressed some concern. I had been sick only a couple of weeks prior following a quick trip to New York City. My staff was discussing the news more and more every day. I even joked about it at that lunch I attended, remarking on a speaking engagement that was still on the books for March that hadn’t canceled… and I certainly wasn’t going to be the one to do it.

Things became different when I turned on the news that night. I found myself thinking for the first time ‘Oh. This is actually happening.’

I immediately emailed my team to let them know they were expected to continue work from their devices at home until further notice. I tweeted the same.

It was no longer just a talking point. COVID-19 had made its way to the United States and we all need to start handling ourselves differently. Like, yesterday.

With the exception of a few walks around the neighborhood and an emergency meeting about the Coronavirus for the Central Ohio Transit Authority of which I am a board member, Vincenzo, Lucy and I have been physical distancing now for 23 days.

It’s an introvert’s dream come true to have it be socially acceptable to stay home all the time. This, I know for sure. But let’s be real: people are dying, have died, or are going to die. This is no vacation.

However, staying home is an element in which I truly thrive. For as long as it is a positive experience and I can keep the anxiety and concern for the future and health of the people I love at bay, I want to thrive.

In order to thrive, perspective needs to play a role. Perspective is everything. No matter how you’re spending the plethora of additional time you’ve gained in your life right now, I hope that perspective is something you’re gaining more of. Not less.

Every single day that I pray for the people who are sick or will be from the Coronavirus, I look at the bright side. Currently, I don’t know anyone who is sick. It’s bittersweet because there are so many people on the planet who are, and I know this won’t last. The virus is vicious and will go after anyone it so pleases.

But when I think about it coming for me, I’m not scared. I’m grateful.
I’m grateful that I was able to protect my team to the best of my abilities from getting the virus in our offices. I’m grateful that I took a chance on myself 10 years ago and became self-employed, so that I could make decisions like this for myself and the people I lead. I’m grateful to have a location-independent business. I’m grateful for a clear mindset of focusing on only the controllable that I have in front of me.

I’m grateful for freedom.

Is freedom guaranteed? Heck no. No guarantees. No expectations. But there is peace in knowing I’ve done everything I can and I continue to do that every day. Because I can.

I’m grateful for what I have been able to share with the world so far to leave it a better place, no matter what happens.

Sorry if that’s weird. And no, I’m not tryin’ to go out like this. But gratefulness is the only thing I can feel right now because it is so damn genuine. Fear is not a friend I’m trying to make right now, so I’m physical distancing from her, too.

I know that there are so many things out of my control that could completely take over—the end of my business due to the down economy, my loved ones becoming ill, me getting the virus. But you can’t put a price on the freedom I worked so hard for in my life. I continue to leverage the hell out of it, and for that I am grateful.


* Raincheck, fam!

** I use the phrase ‘physical distancing’ because I don’t love the phrase ’social distancing.’ It doesn’t really describe what we need to be doing right now to limit the possibilities of the spread of the virus and, if anything, socializing… even from afar… is a great idea to keep a positive mindset at a time like this.

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comments +

  1. Isabela says:

    I’m trying to remain positive and thrive even though routine is not a possibility in my reality. Brazil is struggling with covid-19 and the gov is just not helping much. I loved the timing of the webstie to be honest. I’ll be making it my homepage because only I know how much inspiration I need right now. Thank you Amy, as always.
    PS: The website is awesome (great work from the webdesigners!) but I found this font really difficult to read, at least on the laptop screen. Just a heads up 🙂

    • Amy Landino says:

      Isabela, thank you so much for being here. I hope that this site is helpful during such a difficult time. I’m very sorry to hear that things are not good in Brazil. I hope that you will stay positive as much as possible. I’m sorry to hear the font wasn’t ideal. We will look into the issue. xoxo Amy

      • Monique Silva says:

        Hey Amy, I’m from Brazil too. Yes, the situation here is not well, because our president is thinking more about the economy than the population health. I’m trying to be positive, and my morning routine is so much better with your positives quotes. Thank you!

    • Caroline Richter says:

      Thank you for this Post ❤️

  2. Eve says:

    This is a very good and helpful way to look at it. There are so many people who are NOT in a good place right now because of this situation, both literally and figuratively. So it’s certainly helpful for those of us who find outselves in a spot to be grateful to express that and live through that. It can be contagious (bad choice of words…) in a way that is a force for positivity. There might be a whole slew of choices that we no longer have the luxury of making, but every day we can choose to be grateful and positive. Thank you, Amy, for always being the person I can turn to for that reminder!

  3. Merideth says:

    First of all, CONGRATS ON GATLUW.COM! I’m SO here for it 🎉

    Second of all, I feel much the same way. I’m a weird borderline between introvert and extrovert: I gain energy only from being around the people I know well. So, being at home with my husband 24/7 is kind of my perfect environment to energize and focus on my goals.

    I am so, so fortunate to work in tech, which is a job I can continue remotely uninterrupted. I’m enjoying this time of not having a commute, because it gives me a buffer as I refine my morning routine and learn how long each step actually takes and how much time I actually need. It’s a small step, but it helps me feel like I’m moving forward at a time when the world itself seems to have ground to a halt.

    Since not everyone is so fortunate as to still be working I’m looking for opportunities to help those who have already been hit hard financially. I feel a great deal of uncertainty for the future, but a great deal of peace in the present. I am grateful ❤️

  4. Eda says:

    Thank you so much for this website! Just when I needed you2re here helping me again. I have been using calender blocking for weeks now and my productivity has alreaady increase. Thank you for sharing your ideas and being such a lively person!

  5. Liz says:

    Love this perspective! Having my first child in 4-5 weeks… Reading the Daily Stoic and taking an active role in shaping my perspective has helped a lot with coping during uncertain times. We’re all in it together!

  6. F says:

    Hi Amy!

    I’ve discovered you some days ago (actually I knew you before, but for some reason, it wasn’t the time for me to follow&really appreciate your work!).

    I’m loving your content, especially your podcast: I feel very inspired in these days!

    I check gatluw.com every day!

    I think the same as Isabela as regards the blog font, I hope you change it.

    Sending so much love from Italy

    F.

  7. Wanja says:

    So well said Amy! Gratitude is our main friend right now. I’m sitting in my son’s outdoor not finished playhouse, enjoying the sun and a cup of coffee. I’m in the cleaning business and 95% of my clients have canceled. Easy to loose faith, but I choose not to. The lens i choose to view the world will determine how I feel daily. I choose hope. ❤

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