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Ester Marsh column: Write down why you’re thankful

I was watching a documentary called #Anne Frank Parallel Stories on Netflix.

It talked about her diary and other children who survived the Holocaust.

I get sad during this time of  COVID-19 with so many people’s lives on hold and changed forever.

However, when I was watching the documentary, I became even more thankful for the life I have. Granted there is a lot of chaos, hate and despair going on besides the pandemic, but most of us have been able to leave our houses, have plenty of food and connect with family and friends, even if only through Facetime or other types of  communication where you can see and/or speak to each other.

So I challenge myself to look at the cup half full. Typically it’s not hard at all, but during this “Twilight Zone” time, it even has been hard for an optimist like me.

The best way to do it is to write down the negatives and the positives in your life. Some people find it a lot easier to come up with the positives. For others, it’s easier with the negatives. But challenge yourself to look deep and be honest.

We’ve all heard the saying “stop and smell the roses.” We truly need to stop and look at all the blessings we have. Anne Marie Frank had to be inside, in hiding, for two years. They had to be quiet, they surely couldn’t exercise and her only saving grace was her diary, which she named Kitty.

Maybe you should try it. Write down your thoughts, dreams, fears and wishes to help you cope through this crazy time. She was in hiding and quiet for two years and right before liberation she was sent to the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen where she died of typhus fever.

Seeing a documentary like  this one really puts things in perspective for me. I still have an amazing job, loving family, friends and a home. I don’t have to hide, have plenty of food and drinks, speak my mind and have my own personal beliefs. 

With the COVID-19 cases still going drastically up, we will have to hang in this weird “phase” longer.

I just hope and pray that people will be patient, kind, mindful, respectful, caring and thankful.

Keep moving, eat healthy and keep your chin up. We have to be deliberate about it, but I know we can do it!

Ester Hoeben Marsh is health and fitness director at the JF Hurley YMCA.

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