It has been a humdinger of a year, and I do NOT mean that in a good way. All of humanity, for Christ’s sake, from America to the Middle East, Norway to Australia, has been blindsided by this global pandemic. That phrase, even just the fact that it’s become such a usual part of our common vocabulary, makes me shudder in disgust.
First responders are literally dying because they are doing their jobs. Governments are floundering under a never before seen crisis (at least in most of our memories), that they were, and some still are, unprepared to tackle. People across the globe are losing their jobs, their livelihoods, their family members! Economies are tanking. People are isolated and separated. It feels pretty hopeless. Is this rock bottom?
I wonder if this is how emotions during the Great Depression felt? Or the Dust Bowl? Or any of the wars from WWI to Vietnam? I’d ask my older relatives, but sadly, I don’t have any left from most of these historical events. Do you? I’m honestly curious. Or do I feel this way because I haven’t suffered through any of these other greater, awful events?
But, in the spirit of our Thanksgiving, I want to redirect perspectives a little, both yours and mine. I hope maybe this will help a few of you, if you are mired down in the sticky, quicksand trenches of the difficulties of the world today, but I also know that making myself sit down here, think, and write about what I am grateful for in my life, will help ME change my perspective for the better, as well. So thanks for letting me share it with you!
- HEALTH-I am so grateful that those close to me, and I, are healthy. We have been careful and fortunate enough to have eluded the COVID-19 virus so far. If you haven’t been so fortunate, I hope your health care system isn’t one of the ones that is completely bogged down by too many patients, and you and yours are getting the best care possible. I think many of us regularly take our health for granted…until suddenly we can’t.
- FAITH-While I rarely publicly discuss my faith, I do have some! And so I am glad that I can pray to something in which I place that faith. I’m not really the girl who says. “Oh, God has a bigger plan for me,” as if it’s some sort of consolation when something really crappy happens, I do believe that if the worst happens, (or when, I guess, since one day we all will meet our maker!) I will go to be with Him in all his goodness. Even writing it sounds weird to me, because I never discuss it, but I do believe it. And I think I’m more likely to go up, than down, because I make sure to always do things the best and kindest way I can. I hope somehow, you, too, have some faith that comforts you. Whether it’s God, Allah, a few gods, The power of Good, or Mother Nature, I truly hope you are grateful for your faith, whatever it is, and find comfort in it.
- BASIC NEEDS-I am definitely more than well accommodated in this category. I am reminded of this nearly daily, as I pass my man, Dennis, the homeless man I see on the corner every morning, in his wheelchair with his prosthetic leg, and mottled, sunburned, bald head. Panhandling. We chat often as I wait at the stoplight. His wheelchair was stolen, so I found him a new one at the local Good Will. I have fed him several times as I pass the light. Now it’s colder, and I’m knitting him a warm wool hat. Honestly, it’s the least I could do. And it keeps me humble, reminds me of the life I am blessed enough to live. My children and I never suffer hunger insecurity, lack of shelter or health care. We are more than well provided for, and so when I can help others, I do. And I am grateful to be able to model this for my kids.
- STABLE EMPLOYMENT-My husband is gainfully, well employed. I haven’t needed to work, but was lucky enough to have discovered a job about which I am passionate, and the part time hours jive with my maternal duties of being a taxi cab driver, cook, personal shopper, housecleaner, etc. My husband’s job, which is the bulk of our income, has by the grace of God, been immune to the terrible rising unemployment having struck so many during this time. For these things I am SO grateful. I know that stable and adequate employment affects every. Other. Thing. In. life. And I know that there is a horrific number of families without this peace of mind.
- FRIENDS-I have likeminded, mask-wearing, rule compliant friends. I consider us a team of masked avengers, trying to beat this damn thing with our own little contributions! You know who you are, Sarah, Jamie, Adrienne, Kim….and so many more. While I obviously cannot see them in person much at all, I know they are here for me when I need them. It’s comforting to know that when I am having difficulty with kids, frustrated by my seemingly never-ending solo parenting, or just plain angry, I can call on any one of them and they’ll hear me out, and support me. I love them. I am so grateful for my friends. They are my family without shared genes (But some of us do share jeans!!).
I hope these ideas have helped you. I hope, whatever your situation, you have at least some one around you to share your day with. And however you celebrate, whether it’s with turkey or some other traditional, nontraditional, cultural, or unique and gourmet food….or whether it’s in a soup kitchen staying warm and eating the first warm food in 3 days…or if it’s something else…I hope you find gratitude and love in your day.
Cheers and Love,