We’ve had a lot of snow, wind, rain, and general grayness going on in Northeast Ohio the past two weeks.

I’m impatient for the weather to turn. For the sun to stay and the breeze to shift from cold to warm.

When we’ve had a warm day pop up during the stay-at-home order, we’ve taken long walks through the neighborhood, gone on “nature walks” in the yard (the kids each carry a bucket and fill it with whatever they come across), played with chalk, rode bikes and cozy coupes, kicked a ball, dug for worms… we have filled hours of our day being outside. And we were all happier for it.

As the weather has kept us inside in addition to being at home, it’s been an active effort to shift to gratitude.

When you can’t control the circumstances of your life, it’s easy to focus on what is not going the you want it to: work is different, school won’t resume, you can’t go out to eat, to the library, to browse at a store, to meet a friend for coffee, to the gym… really, the goings-on of life have been put on hold and there are no distractions at the ready. We’re being forced to sit with these circumstances.

And in doing so, it is easier to feel trapped than thankful, to look at what’s wrong instead of what’s right, and to look inward at our unhappiness instead of outward with gratitude.

Make the effort. Look outward. Claim small victories. It may be cold, and snowing, and gray outside—you can’t control that. But, you can control where you shift your gaze, what you let your thoughts rest on. Choose the things that are going right.

Shout-out to a decent guy who picked up these tulips with an antibiotic prescription earlier this week. Gratitude.


Last month I had an op-ed featured in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Three weeks ago, I finished writing a new op-ed. 

Today, that document continues to sit on my desktop. 

I haven’t submitted it anywhere. And while I know the subject is important and needs to be discussed, it is no longer a priority. 

The world has turned upside down. In jarring ways, perspectives have been opened. 
Routines, careers, passions, relationships and ideas have been put on hold. Shelved, to shift energies and efforts toward survival. Rightfully so. 

But that does not mean those routines, careers, passions, relationships and ideas are not meaningful, worthwhile or valuable. 

I hope, dearly, that we can see it through to the other side of this unthinkable with as little loss of life as possible. 

That is priority number one. 

And I also hope that the routines, careers, passions, relationships and ideas that have been paused can re-emerge more thoughtful and powerful than before.