Amid the sorrow and challenges of COVID-19, significant changes have taken place in the lives of everyone I know. It was seven months ago that the World Health Organization declared a global emergency. And, since March, when a national emergency was declared in The USA, it often feels, for me, like time moves as slow as cold molasses.
Most of the people I know—especially in the early months— landed in one of two extremes: overworked and exhausted or having life pretty much come to a screeching halt. In my mostly stalled world, I’ve experienced a vast range of emotions. As time and seasons move on, I sometimes find myself struggling. I miss parts of my old life but recognize how blessed I am that all those I love have been spared, aware that nothing has ever been guaranteed.
This virus has changed me. I imagine that many of you feel the same way. My internal compass sometimes seems to be broken. I pour my thoughts into stories or poems, trying to create normalcy (fully aware that “normal” never really existed). Sometimes, I feel sad, disconnected from those who used to be in my circle, caught up in things that take me away from who I truly aspire to be. Earthly time is precious and limited; I’ve always been aware of that, but this new reality has made it even more apparent. So, during the past few days, I’ve been thinking about things we could do to make a positive impact, which led me to “The Checklist.” There’s nothing earth-shattering here, just small meaningful gestures to help create synergy that can changes lives.
If you have time, tackle a few each day; if you’re already overwhelmed, shoot for one each week (that’s why there are 52). And instead of moving from A to Z, let’s go the other way. I’m sure most of these ideas aren’t new to you, but if we work together we can create positive change!
1. Zone in on what those you love are really saying.
2. Yearn for truth, love and joy, not only for material possessions.
3. Xenodochy is kindness and hospitableness—let’s practice that.
4. Write a note to someone who might be lonely.
5. Vote in every election; this is a right so many have fought for.
6. Volunteer if you have the time.
7. Use your mind—”it’s a terrible thing to waste.”
8. Unclutter your home.
9. Think for yourself; you have opinions, and they do matter.
10. Thank God during the day for the big things and the little things.
11. Talk less, listen more—that includes hearing your inner voice.
12. Take one day at a time.
13. Spend time with the children you love; they’ll “grow up” so fast.
14. Slow down; think about where you’re running to.
15. Simplify your life.
16. Say “no” to (non-career) requests that you don’t have the energy to do.
17. Risk being transparent (but never invisible).
18. Remember that less is more.
20. Quit allowing others to define who you are.
21. Pray—for peace, for those you love, for yourself.
22. Practice saying, “thank you.”
23. Opt for time with a friend over time with a TV.
24. Never underestimate the power of what you say (once verbalized, you can’t take it back).
25. Memorize a sentence with five of your attributes; pull it out as needed.
26. Live within your budget.
27. Learn to forgive—which is not the same as forgetting.
28. Laugh often (and out loud whenever possible).
29. Know the difference between real concerns and simple worries (COVID-19 has shown us that).
30. Jot down anything positive that pops into your mind about someone; tell him or her.
31. Invest in yourself.
32. Have positive people as friends.
33. Get up ten minutes earlier if you regularly start your day in a rush,
34. Get in touch with your inner child.
35. Gain space by embracing organization.
36. Figure out what you truly treasure.
37. Every night before you go to sleep, think of three things that you’re grateful for.
38. Enjoy the little things in life (which really are the big things).
39. Don’t assume you know what’s going on in another person’s life.
40. Don’t allow someone to make you believe you’re not enough.
41. Do things because they’re right, not because you have to.
42. Determine, and pursue, the path you want for your life.
43. Develop healthy relationships.
44. Decide how to define yourself; don’t give that power to another.
45. Dance—as often as possible.
46. Choose to look at things differently.
47. Carry something inspirational to read while you’re stuck in a line.
48. Be kind (even to unkind people).
49. Be aware of the simple things that make you smile; add more of those to your life.
50. Appreciate every gift that you have and every person who blesses your world.
51. Apologize when you need to.
52. Always believe in yourself!
Little things make a big difference. You make a big difference. My prayer for you, this week, is that you realize the beauty of you, the importance of you, and the life-changing power of you,
©peace full home.com®/intentional living, 2013-2020