This year has turned our lives upside down. As we embarked upon 2020, I never dreamed I would finish my maternity leave in months of quarantine, or that I’d return to work in the fall teaching remotely. Shifting from our pre-quarantine lives to quarantine life to masks and pandemic life has necessitated an immense amount of emotional and mental growth... and a lot of letting go. Letting go of expectations, letting go of in-person gatherings, letting go of what used to be and what might have been, in order to embrace a new normal.
But throughout all of the challenging changes that have happened this year, there’s also been some special moments I’m extra thankful about. More time with immediate family and no more commute to work. We were able to refinance our house with the record-low interest rates, and get solar panels installed on our roof. Our gas budget has significantly diminished since we barely drive anywhere and we’ve spent more time playing outside this spring, summer, and fall then ever before.
I didn’t get fit during quarantine like I hoped I might, but it did give me a greater appreciation for all of our blessings. We have our health, we have our home, all of our basic needs met, and we have each other. And to have survived a pandemic with each of these things still intact, I know we are extremely lucky.
At the beginning of the month, we began our yearly tradition of the “Thankful Turkey.” It’s something we started last year that we didn’t complete consistently, so this year I was committed. Each day, the girls list something they are thankful for, and we write it on a colored construction paper cutout feather. Then we add it to our Thankful Turkeys. As the month progressed and the turkey tails grew fuller and fuller, I couldn’t help but remember all that we really do have to be thankful for this year. These small things add up, and as long as we dwell on the positive, we will be able to persevere, no matter what the next year has in store.
So today I wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving, no matter what that looks like. It might not be the typical bustling table setting, but amidst the strife of this year, I hope you can find a few things to be thankful for.