It’s November — says my calendar and the occasional chill in the air that lets me see my breath (good thing because COVID time means I often don’t know the month). The trees are almost bare. Thanksgiving approaches. I’m reminded of the things for which I’m grateful even during this extremely trying and tiring year.
I’m grateful for the people who diligently and delightfully bring at-risk family members their groceries and other necessities and that we have the funds to overtip them. I’m grateful for scientists, for telling me how to protect my health and at-risk people in my circle during the COVID-19 pandemic, and more importantly for their work on therapeutics and vaccines which will one day return us to more normal living. I’m grateful for the companies that made mask-wearing fun and colorful and for the people who wear face coverings diligently. I’m so appreciative of the helpers, especially the people working long hours to take care of others. No one wants a pandemic to occur, but it ends up reminding me that most people are decent – when bad things happen, people seek opportunities for good.
I’m grateful for video technology and the people who create the software that powers it. I swore I’d never do video chats because one shouldn’t have to do their hair to essentially talk on the phone. In this time of limited connection, though, even an introvert like me needs some face to face meetings. Technology gave me chats, conferences, connection, and camaraderie.
I’m grateful to Martha Stewart for teaching me how to make my own pasta sauce (among other things) and for Blue Jean Chef, who taught me how to bake banana bread. I learned on my own how to really enjoy my strawberry Greek yogurt – mix in mini Nilla Wafers. I’m grateful for the person who designed my ergonomic chair, purchased halfway through quarantine in the spring, and for the pain reliever that helped my out-of-ergonomic shape body ache less as the new chair returned me to a healthier posture in days.
I’m thankful for: the cheerful socially-distanced faces in the public outdoor spaces where I’ve walked most days; the smiling eyes above masked mouths in the grocery store the few times I’ve visited them; the postman who brings my mail and the delivery drivers who’ve brought boxes of supplies when they couldn’t be found nearby; the people in my circle who brought toilet paper when the supply ran low during the initial quarantine (and I returned the favor to another in need thereafter); and the valet service at my car dealer who kept my car running, not that I was going many places.
I’m grateful for stillness.
I’m especially grateful for people who tried to keep others in good spirits during trying times with memes, cat videos, and other silliness online. I forever love the Internet — in addition to connecting people, it also hooked me up with bags of my favorite Herr’s chips when I couldn’t get a grocery delivery. They arrived in May in a mini-cardboard company delivery truck in which I’m keeping my newspaper clippings and artifacts from this horrible historic time.
I’m beyond grateful for my health. I’m thankful that even in hard times, I find silver linings. Grandmom always said, “This too shall pass.” And this will –- eventually.
I’m grateful for that knowledge. I’ll be even more thankful when the passage occurs. Until then, I’ll keep counting my blessings, on Thanksgiving and well beyond. Turns out it doesn’t really matter what day it is.