*How a Unique Year Led to Unique Thankfulness
Every year around Thanksgiving my I spend time talking and thinking about what I’m thankful for. And every year I’m thankful for my family, friends, health, jobs, and whatever else may be important in life. But, 2020 has been such a unique and unexpected year! With that thought, I chose to reflect on what unique and unexpected things I’m thankful for this year. Things that may not normally be on my thankfulness radar or, things that may seem normal but when you look into it deeper you realize it is not typical at all. So here is what I am thankful for in 2020.
I am an extrovert by nature. So when the Covid-19 lockdowns and closures began I thought I was tough and that my mental state would be OK, and that I could get by without being around people and interacting as much. Boy was I wrong! I had to change how I think about interacting with people. It meant learning how to get that extrovert in me out in different ways. It meant learning new ways to connect and be a friend without actually seeing people. I am very much an of sight out of mind type of person. So pushing myself to do more socializing through technology was a hurdle. I am thankful for technology such as video, text, online games, memes, and more that have helped me keep in touch with people.
With the family kept mainly at home during the Covid-19 closures, it was a challenge trying to keep our 4-year-old boy and infant girl entertained on a regular basis. With no preschool for our son, he really struggled with not seeing friends or family (extrovert just like me). As kind of a reaction to the isolation my son got really into superheroes and dressing up constantly in whatever he could find or crossed his plate that day. While we all cope with challenges in different ways it was interesting to see my son gravitate to a fantasy world of his own creation day in and day out to deal with the loss of what was his normal life and routine. While as an adult/parent I had to deal with the realities of the day-to-day life of how our family navigates one 2020 struggle after another. It reminded me to take a step back and not take each moment so seriously, even if it seems like the world around you is going crazy. Maybe I just needed to join in the craziness and use my imagination to make things better as a child would. So, I went and picked up my old comic book collection from my parent’s house and delved into the fantasy world of superheroes with my son. Not only was it a special time with him, but I also learned to use my imagination in a way that children do so easily. Re-reading my old comics and learning about new ones has helped spark more imagination in my day-to-day life and I am thankful for that.
God bless the sun! I love being outdoors and I love the sun and heat. On blazing hot summer days when most people shuffle indoors for the cool confines of air conditioning, I relish in the sweltering heat. Florida is the sunshine state and I suggest we take it all in when we can. Give me more rays and something fun to do outdoors! All the changes we have had to go through this year have pushed many more people outdoors. It is such a pleasure to walk down the street or ride a bike in my neighborhood and see the sidewalks, yards, and roads full of people taking in the sun and experiencing new beginnings outdoors. It’s easy to lay on the couch and watch TV or play video games but enjoying time outside with so much of the world to see has made me thankful for the sun this year.
Are you thankful for anything in 2020 that you think is a little different? Maybe something changed in your life and caused you to look at the world in a new way. It can be fun to go beyond the typical things we are thankful for each year so take some time to reflect on your unique thankfulness of 2020. And, share that thought with someone you love. Happy Thanksgiving.