How Gratitude is Getting Me Through the Pandemic

An entire year of masks, social distancing and full-on frustration

If 2020 taught me anything it’s that I needed to find joy and gratitude wherever and whenever I could. As my 95 year-old dad continues to remind me, “We are resilient.”

Many of us can remember exactly where we were when something life-altering happened, you know, like when a pandemic forever changed our world.

It was a year where I couldn’t hug my friends and family— It was also a year that (almost) everyone I loved stayed safe and healthy.

It was a year without brunches and dinner parties with my best friends — It was also a year of raucous Zoom calls with a lot of laughs, endless coffee, a lot of OMG’s, lots of wine and a fair amount of swearing.

It was a year of not traveling for work — It was also a year where we figured out how to still be incredibly productive (although if I’m honest I would go just about anywhere right now).

It was the year we lost Kobe — It was also the year men around the world talked about the joy of being a ‘girl dad’ — my own included.

It was a year of crazy snow and frigid temperatures — It was also the year we found the sled in the back of a closet, braved the cold and went sledding!

It was a year of living within the same walls every day — It was also the year we Marie Kondo’d our hearts out, donating to those in need. I can honestly say I know every single thing we own — that’s a first.

It was a year of no gym and few outdoor workouts—It was also the year we figured out how to workout in our tiny space, knowing that moving our bodies helps us think, act and live better every day.

It was a year of the G_d awful Tiger King and the Australian bushfires that killed millions of animals — It was also a year of inspiring and movement shifting changes for animals around the world.

It was a year where everything and everyone for that matter, went online — It was also the year my dad discovered Zoom calls with friends.

It was a year of political upheaval few will forget — It was also the year that more people in America voted than ever before, still not everyone, but we’ll get there.

It was a year we lost our beloved RBG — It was also the year that (maybe) we realized just how fragile we are, and how much we need to pay attention to our country and our laws.

It was a year where social media took over so much — It was also the year of glorious memes and comedic spins.

It was a year of frustration on just about every level — It was also the year I finally recognized that I was slowly losing it and learned to meditate.

It was a year where work life balance went out the door — It was also the year where I realized just how important daily structure is for me to get through my day.

It was a year where we didn’t go anywhere or do anything outside —It was also a year we didn’t spend money and have paid off our debt.

It was a year of unbearable racial unrest around the world — It was also a year it woke us up and pushed hard conversations into and in between our friends, families and colleagues. It was a year that even a pandemic didn’t stop us from taking to the streets and loudly saying their names: George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake and so many others.

It was the year we lost a superhero and a king in Chadwick Boseman — It was also the year that young people heard the wake-up call about the risks of colon cancer.

It was a year of political upheaval — It was also a year we have new hope and a new direction and when all of the above starts to creep up on me again, I say out loud, “President Biden and Vice-President Harris” and pretty much just like that, my gratitude is restored.

I know how lucky I am. Everyone I love is safe and healthy. I have a roof over my head, a man I love, a fully belly and a job where I thrive. It has been a hard, hard year, and so far I’ve come out the other side more grateful and more appreciative, I hope you feel the same.

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