Grateful in 2020: All the Little Things

by Renee on November 26, 2020

This Thanksgiving I’m grateful for all the little things that have carried me through 2020.

Let’s be clear: it has been a shitty year. I’ve spent most of 2020 unemployed. I’ve been apart from my children, Mom, extended family and friends more often than not. I’ve spent the past couple of weeks quarantined because I’ve tested positive for COVID-19. (I’ve had mostly mild symptoms, thank goodness. And I can’t thank our teachers and healthcare workers and other front line employees enough for the sacrifices they’ve made along the way during this crisis.)

It’s true, I’ve spent some days in bed, sad and lonely —well, as much as I could with a dog who needed to go out. Porter was my lifeline.

But I have to confess: it was a beautiful summer and fall to be off. I spent a lot of time in the Metroparks with my pup—we had some great hikes. Some of you came along with us! And that was wonderful.

I’ve done some writing. I’ve made some new friends. I’ve strengthened ties with longtime friends. I’ve had Zoom happy hours, calls with Jack, and a daily email correspondence with my Aunt Cathy. I’ve watched some Browns games with my cousin Anna.

There were some lovely evenings at restaurant patios around town, even my own patio and porch! I squeezed in a few pool days as a guest at Tall Pines, had a few nights of grilling and bonfires here at home, even a couple of road trips—time with family and friends at safe social distances when we got to pretend things were somewhat normal. Those brief respites were a relief, and saved my mental health. Truly, that is no exaggeration.

We made it through another presidential election and I’m heartened by the change ahead—looking at political appointees who better reflect our diverse nation, and policies that care for the least advantaged among us. Yes, some ties were weakened and even lost along the way, but as I get older I have a lower tolerance for BS in every area, and that is a good thing. With age comes wisdom, and since other things fall away, I’ll take it.

Yes, I’m sad I won’t see my Mom and kids this week, this Thanksgiving—and of course I’m always mindful of those who can’t join us by FaceTime or Zoom because they’re forever missing from our table—but how lucky am I that I have you, dear Reader? Look ahead. There will be concerts and parties and celebrations. Have some turkey and stuffing, a piece of pie, or even a hamburger if you choose—and raise a glass. Take care of yourself and those you love. We will be together again for some big things. I’m here for it.

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