The world around us booms with the negative, how do we regain the positive?


Picture this; good food from expensive restaurants while having someone wait on you, instead of having to cook something. Friends gathering at someone’s house to play games, binge watch TV Shows, and laugh together, enjoying the company of each other. Making a difference in the world by not isolating yourself within the walls of your home. Each and every one of our lives looked a little something like that before March of 2020. Before everything changed.

Fast forward from January of 2020 to March, and our world was flipped upside down. We were forced to quarantine, to self-isolate, for the safety of ourselves and those around us. Restaurants, businesses, entertainment services, and even parks were closed and blocked off due to a very unknown virus known as COVID-19. Within a matter of weeks, thousands and thousands of people had contracted the virus. The disease was wiping out people by the tens of thousands, the numbers up ticking as far as the eye could see. Society as we knew it would never be the same.

But what if, instead of looking at the negative, we searched tirelessly for the positive? After all, there’s always a bright side, right?

It can be so easy for kids at iUPrep to get caught up in the numbers, the statistics, and the death predictions from reputable scientists of today’s age. To sit for hours and gaze at a television spewing nothing but seemingly bad news to an already depressing reality. Is there a way out of the down-hill spiral that we all seem to be heading towards?

The answer, believe it or not, is yes. And the answer happens to be an attitude of gratitude. And don’t click off of this article. I know you’ve heard this saying a thousand times, and it might’ve gotten a little old. Maybe you’re even looking for answers to a question like this; in a world where thousands die by the day and a virus is killing my mental-health, how is it possible to seek and find the “hidden happy”?

We just passed Thanksgiving Break, home of the only day of all 365 in a year that we focus on being grateful for those around us. Many families, including my own, had much trouble not focusing on the people who weren’t there to celebrate with us, the chairs left empty at the table.

But for every empty chair, another is full.

So this Thanksgiving, I have made a list of 10 non-materialistic things for which I am grateful. And I challenge you to do the same. You might be asking me the question; Natalie, I get it, you think there’s always a positive way to look like things, but I don’t have 10 things to fill my list with!

Look around, my fellow owl. Just take a minute to look around you. What do you see? Who are you surrounded by? What things can you do right this minute?

Okay, okay. I get it. You’re not imagining what this looks like. So, without further ado, here are my 10 terrific things regarding this season of loss and uncertainty.

  1. I am grateful for the Lord my God. This is personal, yes, but I am eternally grateful that I have a safe place in the Lord my God, and that my faith won’t shatter because of a global pandemic. 
  2. I am grateful for my parents. They stand by me in the time of adversity that we all are facing, and they love me through everything. There’s nothing I could do to make them not want to be with me. And I’m grateful that they’re alive.
  3. I’m grateful for my brother. Not many are blessed with siblings, but I have a brother that looks out for me and proves to be my forever best friend. He loves me more than I love myself, and I don’t know what I’d do without him.
  4. I’m grateful for my home. My structure, yes. But the home I have with my family is the home I truly cherish. To have a home that is safe and sturdy is a gift at this time.
  5. I’m grateful for iUniversityPrep. This is one that I believe we all should be grateful for. iUniversityPrep kids have the blessing of working from home and not having to go in-person to a brick and mortar school to be educated. We have a community of other kids our age and teachers more than happy to help us as we grow in our learning. Go Owls!!
  6. I’m grateful for my puppies. I have two dogs, Mandy and Bella, and they give me great joy as their faces look at me with love every single day.
  7. I’m grateful for the free country that we live in. Yep, I get it. The election is a time of arguing, disagreeing, and separation. Especially with the current election, it’s proven to be quite the time for our country. Nevertheless, I’m eternally grateful for the democracy that we live in and that I am a free woman.
  8. I’m grateful to be alive. I have oxygen to fill my lungs, and my heart is beating. I’m grateful for my life.
  9. I’m grateful for the healthcare workers. They give their lives to serve on the front lines of a global, deadly disease so that we can be safe. If it weren’t for them, I might not be here.
  10. I’m grateful for the journey. That it’s full of not just ups but downs, and that no moment is ever truly dull unless one labels it as such.

Now it’s your turn; take things that you’re grateful for and make a list like mine. Then, as a secondary challenge, show your appreciation for each of these ten things in a way unique to you. I promise, it will change the way you live, and you’ll truly be the light in a world of darkness.

So what are you waiting for? Hidden Happy is out there; all you have to do is find it.

**NOTE**: Hidden Happy is the joys in life that aren’t seen so easily.