The pandemic definitely dealt a few curveballs and some hardships. Some people were affected much more than others. There were jobs lost, loved ones ill, and changes made to nearly every aspect of life.
It was a politically turbulent year with elections. It was a year that opened so many of our eyes to the racial injustice that is still ingrained in every aspect of our society.
Hopefully these hardships, challenges, and opened eyes have made us better humans. Hopefully built our strength and resilience. Hopefully it opened new doorways to progress and dreams. Hopefully each person can find some glimpses of gratitude as we look back over the year.
In honor of 2020, I would like to challenge myself to find twenty moments of this year that inspired gratitude. It is always nice to reflect back on the year and see what good came from it. One great way to do this is to jot down the best thing that happened each day or at least each week on your calendar. At the end of the year just flip back through and let the good memories close the year on a joyful note.
Here are twenty of my noteworthy and gratitude inspiring moments.
1. I'm grateful to have started off the year with a trip to visit family in Texas. It allowed me to get to know them better and it truly was a positive experience.
2. I'm grateful my husband let me throw him a theme birthday party for his 42nd. I'm grateful to all his friends that came. I'm grateful to go a little over the top. (And I'm grateful it happened before the pandemic hit.)
3. I'm grateful to for a trip to the zoo. My littlest is just getting to the age to appreciate and be interested in the animals (7 months old at the time-March). My oldest was a blast and very helpful with showing her sister the animals. I'm grateful to get to spend a long time watching the penguins together. (About 2 weeks before the pandemic closed things)
4. I'm grateful to just hold and snuggle my girls as they fight off a bug.
5. I'm grateful for clear guidance from the national massage board (and later from the city) as I navigate this unprecedented time. I'm grateful to get some (mandated) time off.
6. I'm grateful for Zoom and all the ways there are to stay in touch with family when we can't be together in person. I'm grateful to start regular calls with my mother-in-law and help foster a stronger bond between her and my girls.
7. I'm grateful to get to be home to see my baby crawl for the first time! I'm grateful we were all home together so my husband could witness this milestone too.
8. I'm grateful for all the family time this shelter-in-place order has given us. I'm grateful to get to see my husband at every meal and to eat as a family. I'm grateful for the extra time to watch my girls growing (too fast).
9. I'm grateful to get creative. I'm grateful to start doing Wacky Wednesdays and to take the time to make the house wacky overnight for a fun delight for my girls in the morning. I'm grateful for these silly, fun times together.
10. I'm grateful for a trip to see my mother-in-law. We haven't been out of the house in a long time (May) and it is nice to have a safe place to travel to and to get some in-person family time.
11. I'm grateful for all the resources available in this area. I'm grateful there are still some schools with openings as we learn of my daughter's school being closed permanently.
12. I'm grateful to venture back to work cautiously and with lots of safety protocols. I'm grateful to know that in time these new protocols will feel normal and not so overwhelming. I'm grateful for a way to do my job and still keep my clients and my family safe.
13. I'm grateful for all my boss does to keep us safe and provide. It isn't easy being a small business right now but I'm grateful he is smart and doing what is necessary to ensure our jobs and our health.
14. I'm grateful to get to celebrate fourth of July with my parents. It is one small bit of normalcy in a year that has been anything but normal. I'm grateful to watch my girls enjoying playing outside and being with their grandparents.
15. I'm grateful to celebrate my baby's first birthday! Well...ok, mixed emotions on that if I'm being honest. It definitely wasn't the big party we imagined but it turned out the small party honored her shy personality better anyway. I'm grateful to get to have just a couple people be a part of this important day. I'm grateful she enjoyed the blueberry pie!
16. I'm grateful to be able to give my daughter a small, outdoor birthday party with friends. I'm grateful to celebrate her turning four and to share that with her few besties. I'm grateful for how well she has coped with her whole world being changed practically overnight. I'm grateful to get creative to give her a happy birthday.
17. I'm so grateful to be the happy new owner of a camper. I'm grateful the build was done in time to still carry out our vacation plans. I'm grateful for my parents' help and support in traveling with us to get it. I'm grateful to see the pure joy as my girls get to splash in a river for the first time.
18. I'm grateful for the renewal of spirit a camping trip gave to my sweet dog. She is getting older and had been really struggling. I'm grateful to see her playing in the river like a pup again.
19. I'm so grateful to have my mother-in-law visit each month. I'm so grateful we can be a safe place for her to get out and visit. I'm grateful for how it has strengthened the bond between her and my girls. I hope this is one thing that continues even after the pandemic is over.
20. I'm grateful for a year of being creative. I'm grateful to homeschool so we can get to see grandparents. I'm grateful to find fun ways to celebrate the holidays in new ways. I'm grateful for family halloween costumes. I'm grateful for candy hunt "trick-or-treating" and carnival games at home. I'm grateful for small, low-key Thanksgiving and Christmas that allowed us to be safe and enjoy the days.
There are so many more glimpses of 2020 that were gratitude inspiring but I will limit it to these. I invite you to think back over your year and find some of the beautiful moments that you experienced. What were your 2020 highlights? What inspired your gratitude?
May 2020 leave us with some fond memories. May we move into 2021 with appreciation for all the things we used to take for granted. May we stay healthy and full of gratitude. Have a beautiful day!