The WHO declared the pandemic emergency is over in May 2023. It has been a long three years. They estimate a loss of nine million lives. We saw the best and worst of human behaviors over this time. I’m reflecting on the good stuff right now. Some of my pandemic Blessings & Insights are as follows.
There has been too much suffering and loss for me to be joyous over the events of this global pandemic. But I see a path forward by heeding the many blessings given to me during this time.
1. We can do video visits
2. Waiting rooms can be virtual
3. I can help even when I feel I have nothing to offer
4. I appreciate my co-workers
5. I appreciate my employer
6. I see wisdom and guidance in our CEO
7. This crisis woke up some to the importance of mature leadership
8. This clarified why I work part-time
9. It demonstrated to me and others the importance of being financially prudent
10. I learned I can teach with Zoom
11. Our patients can be anywhere in the state
12. I now see that I wasn’t doing enough to help my wife
13. I was given an opportunity to teach my children what is important
14. I have grown by focusing on what is important
15. We eat our meals together
16. My daughter isn’t being picked on or bullied as in at school
17. We learned we can share simple experiences as a family
18. We are biking and walking more
19. We camped in our own yard
20. We had fun in a treasure hunt
21. My kids are building their emotional resilience.
22. I learned that I have and can benefit from short-term disability insurance
23. I know I don’t want to be home with nothing to do as in an unplanned retirement.
24. I can thrive despite a 20% pay cut
25. We were spending too much and in ways that didn’t help us or anyone
26. We can continue to give or give more during a financial crisis
27. I don’t need to rely on the government or politicians to help us survive
28. I can pray and read and grow spiritually without going into a church
29. We can survive without a vacation or travel or a week of just leisure
30. My son is a good cook and enjoys it
31. I need to help my son learn the wisdom of honesty
32. I can save money on haircuts
33. My employer will not always have the resources or ability to keep me perfectly safe
34. Some see me as a hero
35. I can learn new skills
36. I can adapt to a different schedule
37. I need to get physically stronger, and I have all the equipment I need
38. I learned how to use Hoopla for digital materials
39. I learned how to use Zoom
40. I improved my website’s landing page
41. I have the appropriate financial plan and asset allocation
42. I am aging fast and need to better plan and cherish my remaining time
43. 10% happier app helped me go deeper into my meditation practice
44. I have an excellent and caring family physician who helped me in my time of need
45. Our medical director can guide us through change and crisis.
46. I cleared out boxes of books that I don’t need
47. We discovered many ways to have groceries delivered to us.
48. My daughter has more friends than she realized
49. We are able to stick to our beliefs and execute even when it is difficult
50. My daughter is strong, resourceful, and honest.
51. I discovered Eric Thomas, who inspires me
52. I found someone to help me with my blog
53. I found someone who is helping me with my book
54. I picked the best year ever to not travel for CME
55. Making money and marketing on my blog doesn’t come easily to me
56. I discovered Dr. John Campbell who has taught me a lot
57. I rediscovered and reorganized my home library
58. I honed down my history and physical to the essence of what is important.
59. My IT blogging skills are transferrable to help with other online work, apps, and accounts.
60. I benefit from my academic affiliation (e.g., Zoom Health, medical library, teaching, etc.)
61. VR can be fun
62. My son can live without friends and school, but it isn’t always pretty.
63. We become deconditioned very fast when not exercising
64. My wife loves me and takes great care of me when I’m ill
65. My wife is hot, even when she feels not her best
66. My mom, and in-laws are strong and want to help us
67. We have a great home
68. I’m thankful for our cat who makes us laugh and teaches us how to be Zen.
69. We were overpaying on cellphone service
70. I don’t know as much about fluoro as I thought
71. I don’t know as much about financial planning as I thought
72. I make less than the average medical specialist
73. We spend a lot more than I thought we do
74. Learning what we are made of and what is important
75. Clarified the role of my blog and book
76. Worked with a physician coach
77. Got to spend more time with my children
78. Learned I’m not FMLA eligible
79. Upgraded to 0.7 FTE which better reflects my work hours
80. Shared a lot with old friends and connected with new ones
81. Realized how I wouldn’t want to be retired with nothing to do
82. Know that people are superficial and short-sighted. Our TV shows, sports, vacations, and bars are all that matter to many
83. Increased meditation time and started to realize its benefit
84. Used 10% happier app
85. Taught Mom about Roku, Hoopla, and Kanopy.
86. Learned I need to protect and provide as my primary role.
87. Scaled back my goals and feel less pressure.
88. Learned that I need to strength train and how to do it at my age.
89. Learned about Epigenetic Clocks and my physiological age.
90. Learned from a child therapist.
91. Acquired a HEPA purifier.
92. Know we are not “financially set.”
93. Given opportunities to teach personal finance to my colleagues.
94. Stopped performing the highest risk procedures before I have a complication.
95. Opportunity to develop online presentation skills.
96. Learned about Disney streaming content.
97. Found Cosmos at Disney +
98. Sunday morning NYT
99. Bagel traditions (with free coffee!)
100. Learned from co-workers
101. Enjoyed comedies at home (Laugh again with Gaffigan)
102. Re-read the Proverbs and Book of Job
103. Family bike rides
104. Swim with my son in a pool by ourselves
105. Forced a focus on the three primary values (Kindness, Personal Responsibility, Integrity)
106. Learned how resilient we are
107. Appreciate our safe neighborhood and spacious home
108. Appreciate an employer who values my safety
109. Enjoyed the TV show We Bare Bears
110. Connected with a publisher about my book
111. Appreciate clothes washer more
112. Learned I like scrubs
113. Learned about viruses
114. Better listener
115. Better understand alternative political views
116. Will appreciate vacations and travel more
117. Look forward to ice cream, airplanes, concerts, breakfast with friends, etc.
118. Cleaned home office
119. Check out library books for months
120. Kids are now more independent
121. Home school benefits and drawbacks
122. My daughter made awesome banana bread
123. Got to use Graeter’s gift card
124. Used fire pit. Made smores. Invited kids’ friends.
125. Appreciate travel more
126. Appreciate errands and grocery stores
127. More aware of small random acts of kindness
128. Time to re-read great books.
129. Used less gas. Fewer car repairs. Lower car insurance costs
130. Discovered a new authentic Chinese restaurant.
131. Learned more about how we all live in our own mental prisons.
132. My wife started reading nonfiction and sharing insights with me.
133. Played more games, puzzles, scrabble, etc.
134. Built rocket with my son.
135. Time to fly a drone with my son.
136. Fishing with my son
137. My son learned to fix my fishing pole.
138. Learned more bodyweight exercises.
139. Started with Fitness Blender
140. Watched old exercise videos.
141. Learning other ways to connect with people, e.g. walks outside while talking.
142. Appreciate our cul-de-sac and friendly neighbors.
143. Low-interest debt allows increased home value.
144. Low-interest debt allowed apartment complex investing options.
145. Humility when predicting financial markets and trends. Will the market crash? What will housing prices do?
146. Scaled-down of kids’ extracurricular activity is much less intense and stressful.
I could continue. I would rather you write down your own. What did you learn? What do you now better appreciate?