I haven’t been into resolutions for a while. I would sometimes say or even write some loose ones without ever following through on them. I’m here for the type of goals that happen naturally, when they make sense. Not just because it’s a new year.
But I also love the excitement a new year brings. The fresh start. I love beginning January by getting rid of our Christmas tree and decorations and tidying our space. Maybe doing some decluttering and deep cleaning. It leaves me and our house feeling refreshed.
Everyone is giving 2020 a bad rap. Yeah, obviously it sucked in so many ways. We didn’t get to travel or go on the adventures we were planning to. We didn’t get to see our loved ones for ridiculous amounts of time. It’s been harder to communicate in general. Lots is scary. Lots is unknown.
But damn was it a year or growth. Serious growth. Whether we liked it or not, we were forced to sit with ourselves more. Our thoughts. Feelings. Realizing what we’re grateful for. Who and what matters.
For a while I kept dismissing my husband when he would say that 2020 was a great year for him. I’d look at all that I didn’t get to do or experience. What I missed out on.
He’s got me thinking though. While this year looked differently for everyone and I know some had it a hell of a lot harder than we did, I also know that some good came out of this year.
This huge shift away from the world we’re used to has made me think so much about gratitude. How lucky I am to have all the loving family I do and how much I normally get to see them each year. How lucky I am to have such a beautiful circle of friends, full of different personalities and a whole lot of love for each other. How fortunate I am to be able to experience new things and new places each year.
Yeah, okay, I know. I’m not trying to spam you with toxic positivity. I’ve been guilty of that in the past and since I’m such a generally happy, positive person, it was hard for me to become aware of what that was for a while. I’m not going to ignore all the bad that came with this year. All the nights I spent crying, depressed, laying in bed for hours, eating too much, spending too much. I went through it and I know you did too. And again, I know I had it a lot easier than other people. Both me and my husband have had jobs all during quarantine. So far, not many of our loved ones have gotten sick. We’re beyond lucky.
But hearing Elliot say that has really got me thinking about some of the good that came out of this year. Yeah, I could sit around and grieve all the losses (which believe me I have), but I’m finally ready to let all that go, to focus on the good and move on. At least today. That’s how I’m feeling.
So, here’s my list of things I’m so grateful for this year. If you feel inclined, you’re welcome to do the same and make your own list. I would love to read it.
- Deepening my friendships with the few friends I saw in person this year
- Deepening friendships with friends I didn’t seen much (or even at all) in person, but talked to over the phone, text, and through letters
- Communicating with my mom and growing our relationship
- Watching my sister deepen her meditation practice
- Finding new ways to connect to family and loved ones far away
- Leaving a career and job path that didn’t suit me
- Learning to lean into this big change and dream of a new future
- Grad school applications
- Going on my first backpacking trip with Elliot and visiting Colorado for the first time
- Planning a wedding in a few short months and finally getting married to my best friend
- Having so many people show their understanding of our decision to have a small wedding and sending us lovely well wishes and more gifts than we could have imagined
- Having a wonderful photographer and videographer capture it all
- Joining in the BLM protests
- Reallocating money and setting up several monthly donations
- Joining in the celebration downtown when Biden won
- Exploring fun, local beers
- Playing outside with my nanny kids
- The beautiful Fall foliage this year
- Collecting stunning leaves
- Sending more letters
- Checking in on friends and family
- Homemade cookies
- Freshly baked bread
- Vegan queso
- Long walks
- Warm sun
- Breathing in crisp air
- Kisses on cheeks
- Late night chats
- Snow on Christmas
Wow. I didn’t expect the list to be so long honestly. But that’s a hell of a lot of good to look back at. I have a new appreciation for the little things. For the relationships I’ve cultivated. For my home. And I hope I’ll be able to take this gratitude into the new world that’s here after the pandemic. Because, it sure as hell isn’t going to be the same. We’re not the same. And maybe, that’s for the best.