This Thursday is the day in the US that we give thanks for all the blessings we can think of. And gather with friends and family and eat a ton of decadent food. Many of the normal holiday festivities will be hampered this year as we have been forced to modify our plans for COVID-19. 2020 has been one hell of a year, but there are definitely a couple people and things I would like to call attention to in honor of the holiday.
I am very thankful that nobody I know has had their health severity affected by COVID-19. I heard my uncle tested positive earlier this summer, but his case was mild and he was only out of work for two weeks. My heart breaks for those who have lost love ones this year.
I am thankful that my husband and I have been able to continue working at our jobs during this ordeal. It is no small thing to have not been physically or financially impacted this year when so many others have been. To that end, we have aggressively stepped up our donations to local mutual aid groups, gifts to individual neighbors in need and volunteer activities to give back to the community.
I am thankful for the fact that, while my parents had to evacuate their home from the wildfire inferno for two weeks this summer, their home still stands and was undamaged in the end. Of course, they only need to drive about 2-3 miles down the road to see the scorched earth where the fires tore through.
I am thankful for my friends, particularly those who have resurfaced after years of having been adrift from regular contact. Sometimes the best people to share with are those who have known you for longest. Ali, Amber and Jen, I’m talking to you.
I am thankful for the pandemic’s “silver linings.” As an introvert, I have never been so relaxed and comfortable in a work setting in my life. Not having to put on a “work costume” and present myself to others all day has lifted a huge weight off of my being, allowing me to retain enough energy to do the other meaningful things in my life that I was simply too exhausted to do before.
Above all else, I am so thankful for my husband who has joined me on my quest to see how many days in a row we can go without leaving the house and without getting out of our pajamas (except for walking the dog). He makes me coffee every morning, is the world champion at weekend breakfast and even tolerates my odd sleep schedule. We have both learned a lot about ourselves and each other in the last 8-1/2 months and I believe our marriage has grown stronger as a result.
All this may be cliche, but I believe it is important to think about the positive aspects of life as well. If you are reading this, you are still above ground, in the land of the living, and that is something to celebrate, in a safe and socially-distanced manner, or just silently by yourself. We are in no way out of the woods yet, but if we avoid fatalism and seek out ways to be of service to others, we will see these silver linings and recognize we have so much to be thankful for, even now.
If not happy, at least have a peaceful Thanksgiving. This too shall pass. Next year will be SOOOOOO much better.