Peggy Goodrich (column mug)ENE

Do you have trouble staying positive during this pandemic? Think about it.

During this terrible pandemic we are in and have been in for much too long, do you find it difficult to hang on and keep afloat? We get depressed and it just spirals downward. What can we do to keep us sane and motivated and positive?

One of the hardest lessons in life is letting go of our problems and realizing everyone is also having a set of problems. Many feel such a sense of loss. There have been so many, many deaths that we can hardly keep up with the obituaries in the paper and by phone. I just want to wrap up in a cocoon and stay until a butterfly emerges and everything will be all right. I just want all the bad things to go away.

Some of us feel anger. We don’t really know why but we just feel angry and out of sorts. There is so much sickness and losing jobs and people having to move elsewhere to seek work to feed their families. For them it is a mixture of anger, sadness and uncertainty. How can we blame them? They have been uprooted and not because of anything they have done or not done. It is just how it is. But how does one react? How do they explain it to their children? How do they even understand themselves. I would be angry and confused too. I hurt for them.

We find it hard to let go because of our losses. We know that this too shall pass. But WHEN? We feel somewhat betrayed, but it is no one person’s fault. That makes it all the more difficult to understand and cope with. If we just had ONE person we could blame everything on, we would not be so upset. We feel betrayed, confused and almost hopeless.

We all hurt for those who are living out this terrible pandemic that seems to affect EVERONE. Small businesses are hurting terribly. But so are the larger stores. Restaurants are really hurting for business but they have all been so accommodating to their carry-out customers.

This sadness could go on for days, weeks, months, even into next year. We have little control over the country’s situation which is also a world situation. We either survive or we go under.

I have had to put my faith in our Almighty God and trust Him to bring us out of this catastrophe. Our parents and grandparents survived the Great Depression. It was not easy but they survived and learned from it. Always remember your goals and be kind to yourselves.

In biblical times people suffered terrible hardships and plagues and every conceivable problem, but their God always saw them through to victory. We must develop that kind of faith and trust to survive. When we get to the end of our rope, we need to grab on and pull ourselves up. We can do it. We gotta do it. Life depends on it. It will not be easy but we just MUST see this through.

That does not mean that we will not have a lot of sadness in seeing sickness and death all around us. We need to grieve their loss even if we are not able to have proper memorial services.

If nothing else, this pandemic and so much illness and sadness has taught us to be kind and understanding and thankful for an awesome God to bear our sorrows with us and give us comfort.

The Bible says, “Give thanks IN all things,” not “FOR” all things.” We can be thankful for life and a way to make a living and everything we do and have. We just must be positive and know that things will get better. We must stay positive and look for the good around us, remembering all the nurses and doctors and health caregivers who are working diligently to care for so many ill people. We must look at our homes and food on the table and air to breath and on and on. There is no end to the blessings we have. Count them.

When you go to bed at night or anytime during the day, thank God for what you have. It is as easy to count blessings as it is to count problems. We need to thank Him in advance for hearing our prayers and for His loving care and His assurance that He is in control and everything will become better. He is with us in our daily living even if things are not “normal.”

We just want normal to come back. It may never be like it once was, but we will adjust and survive and learn from this pandemic. We will be stronger and kinder and more empathetic than we were before all this mask-wearing and distanceing and hand washing and sanitizing took place. We still have our minds intact and are able to see and think and do.

We hopefully have used this “time off” to do something productive and useful and enjoyable. Time to learn a new hobby. Practice that piano you have neglected for so long. Clean drawers, polish silver, clear a closet, read books — old and new — and reread some from long, long ago. Call people on the phone. Listen to good music. Wash the dishes that are stored in the china cabinet. Dust, dust, dust. Write letters. Send cards. Work puzzles. Exercise. Bake (try new recipes or bake old ones that bring back wonderful memories). Keep a journal. Read your Bible. Meditate. Put on a pot of stew or beans or a beef roast just to smell them cook and enjoy the aroma. Then eat them.

Be creative. Feed the birds. Watch the geese every morning. Inventory your heirlooms and write the background story about them and mark who they go to when you are gone. That sounds depressing but it is not. It is a joy to know who will care for them in the next generations.

I made Apple Betty yesterday. Why is it called that? It warmed my heart like yours too.

Apple Crisp

3 or 4 apples, peeled and chopped

3/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoons flour

dash of cinnamon

Mix and pour into a 9x9-inch baking dish.

In separate bowl mix:

1/2 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup flour

1/8 teaspoon soda

1/4 cup melted butter

Mix and sprinkle on top of apples. Bake in 350-degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes until apples are tender. Wonderful warm with a dollop of ice cream.

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Goodrich writes a weekly column for the Enid News & Eagle​. Send your comments to: Peggy Goodrich, Food For Thought, P.O. Box 1192, Enid, OK 73702.

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