A brief pause at Thanksgiving to talk about some things I can be grateful for in the closing weeks of 2020.
2020 hasn’t been great. Between the pandemic and the U.S.’s abominable response (not just the government, but also the people too), as well as the resulting economic and social calamities, it’s easy to forget that at the beginning of this year, we thought that the Australian wildfires were going to be the big story of the year.
But nevertheless, in this time of gratitude, I thought it would be beneficial to list some things I’m grateful for right now..
This is, of course, not an exhaustive list, but I think it gets to the heart of where I am. Your list will be different, of course. All the more reason for you to create your own.
Table of Contents
I’ve never thought about breathing so much. It’s been a very long time since I would be at the pool with my parents and see how long I could hold my breath underwater.
Also, I’ve never been a smoker, and have never had asthma or anything like that, so lung capacity was never on my mind.
How my mind has changed this year.
First of all, with the pandemic being primarily a respiratory illness, lung capacity is what people are talking about. Having millions of people not being able to breathe due to a viral infection is horrendous, but that is the world we live in now.
On top of all that, for one brief moment this September, due to wildfires and the effects of climate change, my fair city was on the top of the list of the worst air quality in the world. Not something I ever thought I would see, for sure.
Also, it’s impossible to think about breathing without remembering George Floyd.
I can’t not be grateful that I can breathe today. In so many other circumstances, that might not have been the case.
I’ve kept in better touch with friends and family
My partner and I have been friends with this other couple for years now, but it was only in the onset of the pandemic that we now regularly see them (on Zoom, of course). Before, it was here and there when we could fit it in amidst our busy schedule.
Also, I haven’t talked to my mom this much since I lived with her. And it’s been quite a while since we did that!
It seems ironic that I would say that I’ve kept in better touch with people when many of them I haven’t seen in person, at least not up close, in almost a year.
But it’s true. Because I stopped traveling and doing all this stuff, I’ve had more time to connect with friends and family. That’s an unalloyed good.
I was laid off
I’ve talked a little about this in my post on the golden handcuffs. But almost a year on, I can’t stress how grateful I am for being let go of my day job, which allowed me to focus on doing this job, being a money coach.
I’d love to say that I was brave enough to take the plunge on my own, but I wasn’t. So thanks, job, for giving me the shove.
I’m not in school
Being a kid and going to school is tough enough, but on Zoom? I can’t imagine how difficult it would be.
I’m thinking now of having to sit through a lecture from Mr. Seameister in 11th grade Chemistry, a teacher whose opening line on the first day of school was to ask us why we were there, because none of us really liked the subject anyway.
And also 2nd grade, where I was so behind on things that my teacher actually made me a “Work To Be Done” folder”.
Move either of those situations online? I can’t even imagine.
The U.S. presidential election is over
Seriously, I don’t think I could handle any more of that.
(Note to millions of Americans: the U.S. presidential election is over.)
2020 is almost done
I’ll just come out and say it: this year is almost over, and I’m so grateful for that.
We’ve got less than two months (as of writing) before we throw 2020 into the dustbin of history, and I for one can’t wait.
2021 may not begin as good as 2020 did, but I have a good feeling that it’s going to end much better.
You are here
I’ve been spared the worst of the crisis that is this year. My friends and family have all been spared too, at least in the worst of things.
But I know that not all of your reading this can say the same. For some of you, this year has been one hellish slog.
Which is why I’m really grateful that, by sheer force of will, you continue to be here. Not on this site (though thank you for that), but here on this planet. We need more people like you who are interested in helping not only to better yourself, but also the people around you.
The world is a better place because you’re in it, so please, do everything you can to remain there.
So, among much else, wear a mask, don’t congregate with others, and especially, stay home on Thanksgiving!