I was very fortunate to marry someone who is almost always naturally happy. My wife was not so lucky.
To be with a person who is in a state of joy, who marvels at the new blooms of the season, plays with the squirrels and bunnies on our walks, and can find beauty in anything (including me) is an amazing gift.
It’s a little tough for some of us to “feel the joy” right now, being that our world is not really stable at the moment, and we are still in a pandemic. But when I am feeling shaky (anxious or depressed), I find that just looking at things that will always be beautiful (like nature and my wife) does help.
When we take our morning walks, she points out things that I didn’t notice before. I’ve always loved nature, but the pain of the world can put blinders on me so I don’t see the beauty around me, which is just a waste.
The good news is that after you are reminded and remember to soak up anything positive and beautiful around you, it does become a normal part of your life, even a habit after a little while.
We are still living under self-quarantine, but other than missing out on what used to be regular “going out date nights,” not much has changed in our relationship. We have gotten closer, and that seems to be going around.
One neighbor told me that her husband, who has been an almost constant traveler during their marriage, and her daughter who had been away at school have all been living together since spring and have never been closer or happier. Her husband is changing jobs, so he can stay home now.
There have always been places to go and socialize, but currently that’s not really attractive. What is making life sweeter for us right now is to revel in the simplicity and beauty that we have around us.
If you can’t get out at all, look at pictures of things that you find beautiful. I know it’s not the same, but it will make you feel a little better.
It’s in human nature to be creative, and art is more than communication — it is the sharing of spirit. There are some great works that have captured me for many hours. Absorbing the positive energy from those treasured pieces is a good way to keep your balance and remember that the world will be back in a while.
Spending time in nature, especially with someone you love, is a wonderful way to pass the day. If you can’t be with someone you love, try taking FaceTime walks together and sharing the things that you both discover (you can do date nights like this, too). We are all getting more creative when it comes to getting and staying connected, and that creativity will help to fill your heart up.
For some people who live alone, getting out may be too difficult, or they may be still too scared to go out, which is also perfectly understandable.
We have a neighbor whom we look in on almost daily when we walk the dog. We call first and walk to her living room window for a “hello” with her and her “pandemic puppy,” and those few moments of connection make a difference to all of us.
If you know of someone who is all alone, please say hello. It will bring you all some additional joy.Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., LMFT, is an award-winning therapist and writer. He is a columnist, blogger and the author of seven books, including the newly released “Visualization For Success — 75 Psychological Empowerment Exercises To Get You What You Want In Life.” Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.