Happy Easter, everyone.

Much has been written about the symbolism of Easter: rebirth and bloom. And, of course, the significance of the day cannot be understated. While Christmas gets more attention, the day Christ is risen carries more significance.

But as we contemplate this time of renewal, I’d like to call attention to one aspect. This is a time for appreciation.

If we’ve learned anything from the last few months, whether or not you think we over-reacted or under-reacted, I think it’s time to pause and consider all of the things you may have taken for granted.

Life: You only get one. How are you going to spend it? Will you cower in fear or get out and make opportunities for yourself? Are you living your life if you’re letting others tell you what’s best for you? No matter your thoughts on this pandemic, you have to consider what you want to do with each day you’re given on this Earth.

Friends: While there’s certainly more time to catch up with friends, new and old, it’s nearly impossible to do it in person. When life resumes, don’t forget what this isolation and self-quarantine was like. Take stock in those most important to you, and make an effort to keep in touch.

Jobs: Normally, when I’m speaking to someone who recently lost a job, I do my best to remind them that nothing is forever. The feeling and status is temporary, and something new, and potentially better, is coming. However, it’s a bit different now. For those who lost jobs, the competition for a new one is going to be far greater. If you still have yours, don’t take it for granted.

Freedom: Regardless of whether or not you think it’s right, the fact is, we’ve all been shuttered. One guy somewhere in your state is living in a house that you put him in and making decisions about what you can or cannot do. This is as close as I hope we ever get to Socialism, and I hope this taste of it makes you appreciate what freedom really means.

Logistics: Think about where you live and how easy it may be for you to access the grocery store, city center, barbershop or salon, your favorite restaurant, and other places you like to frequent. Think about what you’re having the hardest time living without, and take this time to appreciate how easy it has been.

School: There’s just no substitute for learning, and if you’re a curious person, like me, you want to see school in session. In the State of Washington, I think it took entirely too long to do the entirely too little they’re doing right now. At a minimum, it shouldn’t have taken too much creativity for teachers to decide they’re going to meet their classes on Zoom twice a week. Kids are losing precious learning time, and we should all be taking that more seriously.

There’s a lot to appreciate in life, regardless of whether you are sitting with a million dollars or ten dollars in your bank.

I hope, this Easter, you can take a minute to appreciate the life you’ve made, question anyone who tries to take it from you, and look forward to what we will learn as a country and, hopefully, how much better we’ll be because of it.