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Daily Journal
     April 3, 2020      #63-94 KDJ
 

Gary Moore: Finding joy in quarantine 

By Gary W. Moore

I awoke at 5:30 a.m., started a fire in our darkened kitchen fireplace and am sitting in the quiet of the morning, counting my blessings.

My family is healthy and quarantined together. We are only missing my oldest, who is sheltered in Los Angeles. My daughter, son-in-law and my two grandsons are sleeping soundly on the floor above me. My youngest son is sleeping in the basement with our granddog, Walter. Our dear friends and my daughter’s in-laws, Stu and Lynn, are here, and I’m going to make my grandmother’s recipe for biscuits and gravy for breakfast. I cannot describe the joy am feeling at this moment.

I think people often interchange the words joy and happiness as though they are the same. They are not. Happiness is a feeling you get from outside events and/or circumstances, while joy radiates from within. Your happiness is dependent on things or other people while your joy is only dependent upon you. Want to be joyful? Easier said than done? Start by counting your blessings.

Joy is from the heart.

I find my joy in my love of family and friends. I am joyful in making breakfast for my family. I get happiness from seeing them feel enjoyment from my efforts. I feel joy in writing. I’d do it even if no one ever read it. I get happiness knowing people do.

So, what is my goal in quarantine? Love my family. Reach out to friends. Write to positively influence others. Finish my book, “Carbon Hill.” Spend more time in prayer and contemplation. My plate is as full as my heart.

What about you?

How many times have you wanted to do something, but you complain you have no time? How often have you thought you’d just like to have a little time to yourself, or just a moment of peace and quiet? Sheltering in place can make those wishes come true.

You know me as a weekly columnist, but I’m also an author. In fact, I think of myself as an author who also writes a column and not the other way around. I need to get busy and finish my fifth book.

I’m told Shakespeare wrote “King Lear” while in quarantine for the plague. When I first heard that, I laughed and thought, as an author, hearing that is a lot of pressure. But then again, No pressure. I’m just a storyteller. I need to dig in and finishing telling the story of the Tallman brothers and “Carbon Hill.”

Make positive decisions during quarantine and put them into action.

Why waste time? What is that project you’ve always wanted to complete? Get moving. Write a book, build the model, complete the puzzle, write some letters, renew contact with those you’ve lost contact with. Explore the possibilities, then act.

And I do understand that some of you are afraid. I think we all harbor some level of fear and that’s normal. Work to turn your fear into healthy caution and follow all the guideline for remaining safe.

And for some of you who have a loved one who is sick, or you are not well, I’m praying for you now and I encourage others to do the same. Want me to pray for you or a friend or loved one by name? Send me an email or snail mail and I will do so. I won’t post it here, but my phone number is on my web page. It’s easy to find. If you want me to pray with you, give me a call. And for those of you who don’t believe in the power of prayer, please accept my positive thoughts for you as I pray for you.

To pray is a decision I make personally. You don’t have to do the same. I had a young student who said, “I don’t believe in God or prayer ... so will you pray for me?” I prayed for her until her crisis passed. (Let the contradiction of her question sink in ...)

This too shall pass.

I don’t know what’s in store for us over the next few weeks and months. I’m not a health care worker or government official. All I’m certain of is that this isn’t the end of the world. This, too, shall pass. The world will survive. I also understand that the death toll is high and growing. Just remember, if you shelter in place, the odds of you getting sick are minuscule. And if you are sick and remain in place, you won’t pass it to others. I think this will fit into the category of “Do good. Be good.”

Turn your fear and boredom into positive productivity during quarantine. Decide to make the most of this time and find both happiness and joy in doing something you have always wanted to do.

Stay healthy. Don’t be afraid.

I’m praying for you.

Gary W. Moore is a freelance columnist, speaker and author of three books including the award-winning, critically acclaimed, “Playing with the Enemy.” He can be contacted through the Daily Journal at editors@daily-journal.com

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