My article for this week was going to be about putting on my happy face and thinking positive, but then I felt the chill of the shadow that now lies over our land. All that has been normal for us has now changed and we face a new normal. Our country is in chaos due to this unknown virus called COVID-19.

I was going to write about some ordinary things I like to gripe about, like road construction, modern church music, traffic, hairstyles, tattoos, online shopping, noisy restaurants, technology, and movies. Then I was going to say something positive about each thing. And there are positives about each of those. But this virus thing blanketed our whole existence and all of those gripes seem so inane with the threat of what is currently happening.

So I looked at this list of things I feel negative about. Can I change any of them? Nope. And now we are in the midst of this new virus. Can any of us change that? Same answer. Therefore, we can only switch our thoughts to the positive aspect of it. 

According to Nancy Colier, a psychotherapist, “Repetitive negative thoughts are a part of the human journey; we cannot stop them. We can however, stop trying to change the unchangeable. What matters is how we relate to the thoughts and ourselves.” She recommends giving up the fight with the inevitable and channeling our thoughts elsewhere to something more positive that perhaps we are able to change.

So if we have to stay home, let’s be productive and get some things done that we never get around to; like cleaning out closets, getting some yard work done, or reading a good book (I vote for the book.) I will try to immerse myself in my endless piles of old photos, cataloging and organizing them.

Pray for our country and our world, its leaders, those who are sick, and all the businesses and restaurants that have been impacted by closures and the employees who have lost jobs. God does hear and can work in a mighty way.

We have been given the gift of resilience that maybe we never knew we had. We are finding out we can do okay with fewer things, although some people don’t seem to get that.  And hey, The Baytown Sun is a news “paper.” After reading it, there are other uses for it in the kitchen and, if worse comes to worst, in the bathroom. Hey, we are here to serve.

So I am, after all, putting on my happy face. Seems that is what we all need to do. We live in a democratic republic with freedoms that no other country has. We have an overabundance of goods and services like none other. But that is not a given, as we are coming to realize. It will take a while for our economy to bounce back but it will, if Congress will put aside its divisiveness and agree on how to help.  

Lives have had to be modified with the threat of this virus. But I hope most of us are doing okay and realize that this is only temporary. And maybe we will learn to never again take what we have for granted, but be thankful for all the blessings that come our way each and every day.


A former longtime Baytown resident, Ginger Stripling now lives in Mont Belvieu. Contact her at, Attention: Ginger Stripling.

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