SCIO Community Magazine
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Awesomeness During a Pandemic

I consider myself a positive person. Positive…. but realistic. I know how things do not always go our way and, at times, bad things happen to good people, which can be distressing, but a part of life.

So, a few days ago, I was listening to one of my, not so uplifting podcasts called, Terrible, Thanks for Asking – a podcast which explores sad, uncomfortable topics and helps the listener learn ways to deal with loss, pain and suffering.  I know, not so positive, but on this day, the host was interviewing Neil Pasricha, a man who lived with his own challenges.  He recounted a dark period of his life when he made the decision to write a blog about simple pleasures in life.  The blog lead into a book he wrote called 1000 Awesome Things.

This is where positivity comes into play!  I loved the dichotomy of this podcast, which candidly discusses people’s struggles, hosting someone who wound up building their career on happiness.  Everyday he wrote about one awesome thing that happened. My favourite one was…. when you reach the middle of the Cinnabon where all the delicious goo is.  Yes, that is pure happiness and bliss!  I feel like this guy gets me!  His blog led to his best-selling book called 1000 Awesome Things as well as several other publications about being positive and happy.

After listening to the podcast, it got me thinking about some of the things we were talking about in our Employment Support Group. In early April, when I realized social isolation was going to be hitting us all hard, I started a support group for SCIO Employment Services clients. This has been a great way for people to connect with each other on a weekly basis.

Recently, with the more stringent COVID-19 requirements in place and shorter, darker, colder days ahead of us, our group had been discussing ways of finding new activities and finding a sense of joy in everyday things.  We have been examining ways to find connection and happiness and to create new experiences for ourselves and examine the way we typically look at things.  When I introduced the idea of finding, “awesomeness” in our every day lives, I could sense some people getting excited.  Members were calling dibs on a variety of things from caramelized onions to gummy vitamins.  I realized that we too can find awesomeness in everyday things, even during a pandemic.

So, we are sharing our list of awesome things to the rest of the community.  You may see some of your own awesomeness on the list and maybe you’ll disagree with some. Like the saying that “one man’s trash is another’s treasure” we paraphrase to “one person’s ho-hum is another’s awesome”. Find your own!

Our list of awesomeness

  1. Gummy vitamins (when you can’t just stop at one)
  2. Recognition of something you are proud of
  3. Caramelized onions
  4. My home… after I just spent hours cleaning it
  5. Fresh cut grass
  6. Latte
  7. Iced coffee in my polar bear cup
  8. Growing beautiful ideas with friends
  9. Going for a drive – I’m surrounded by people, stuck in traffic, but it’s ok because there’s no rush to get to where I’m going.
  10. Ordering food and not having to answer the door and interact
  11. Lavender face cream
  12. The smell after it rains
  13. Math!
  14. Mozart’s Requiem
  15. Clean, crisp winter air
  16. Finishing a task way before I expected
  17. The first sound of birdsong outside the window, signaling the arrival of Spring
  18. My light therapy lamp
  19. Snorkeling with flippers and fish
  20. My grandparents’ cottage in Northumberland Straight
  21. Tiger, my cat
  22. The puck leaving your stick exactly right
  23. Being in nature
  24. The Magic Bean Café in Quito, Ecuador
  25. Sheets fresh from the laundry
  26. Unwrapping the silver paper from a bar of Cadbury Milk Chocolate and then breaking off a piece and eating it
  27. Connecting with a friend
  28. The Acropolis
  29. The Plaka, at the base of the Acropolis
  30. The first breath I take when I remove my mask
  31. A good night sleep
  32. Machu Picchu
  33. A woman in your arms
  34. Kawhi’s buzzer beater (that never gets old)
  35. The Batu Caves in Malaysia
  36. The scent of jasmine blossoms in the trees
  37. Metallica’s Fade to Black
  38. Tiramisu
  39. Wonderful friends
  40. Face mask (the kind that soothes your face – not the COVID kind!)
  41. Snow hugging the trees
    (a present we got this year over the holidays!)
  42. The first light of understanding in a child’s eyes
  43. The first light of understanding in your own mind
  44. Dogs rolling around, just being
  45. The Prince of Nothing (Fantasy novel)
  46. A first kiss – and the ones after that too
  47. Helping someone genuine with something you are genuinely helpful
  48. The sound of cicadas or crickets chirping on a warm summer evening
  49. Meditation
  50. 10 Minutes Disco Dancing (dance like no one is watching…because they are not!)

By: Marianne Kozinets | Winter 2021

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