In a year when we have lost so much (from the irreplaceable to the inconvenient and everything in between), writing a seasonal post about thankfulness seems, at first thought, like an arduous affair at its worst and an irksome one at its least.
But after more reflection, it’s exactly what I need to cling to, personally speaking, when nothing else makes sense in the world. We don’t know when this nightmare will be over, but we can use our time to relish in the precious life we’re living.
As a firm, we’re grateful for so much. That we effortlessly moved to a virtual office setup to serve our clients. That we’ve continued to help clients in meaningful ways. That we had a record-breaking year. That we’re all healthy. That we have a team full of colleagues we love and respect. That we have a wonderful office to go back to in full capacity when the time is right. But personally, there’s a lot to say, as well. Here’s a glimpse into our team’s ruminations on 2020.
2020 has taken a great deal, but it has given me a lot of time to remember and fall in love again with those things I hold so dear. We’ve kept our small children at home since March and have been homeschooling. While that choice brings its own adjustments and challenges, my husband and I have enjoyed the luxury and pure effervescence of having time with the boys while they’re still young enough to think we’re the coolest cats around. It also gave me much more precious time with my older kids who are in college. The memories we’ve created are so special to me, and we will look back in fondness on how we spent those days at home just being a family. This year also has afforded the chance to spend much more time with hobbies, including bingeing classic favorites and new ones, reading, writing and even riding a bike in the great outdoors — something I haven’t done this much since I was in middle school. If nothing else, 2020 has been a year to savor the deep beauty and meaning of simple things, the things that truly matter the most.
I’m surprised by how uplifting and positive this year has been for me personally. When I see and hear about the challenges and sadness this year has brought so many, I can’t help but feel a little guilty. But like so many others, the forced slowdown and change in how we work and go about everyday life has felt like a happy blessing. Going from a family of three to a family of four is the main reason 2020 will always be one of the best years for me. Getting a little extra time in the mornings and evenings to spend time with my family is a nice positive boost, and working with my dog, Jackson, right next to me has been a special daily treat! And my favorite NPR radio hour has taught me some pretty incredible things that have resulted from the pandemic – things that needed to happen on our planet and among humankind. I remind myself of the sadness and hardships people are experiencing, but I’m also grateful and thankful for the many happy memories, changes and outcomes 2020 has shown me.
As awful as 2020 has been, and I do mean awful, I’m yet extremely grateful and thankful. This year reminded me of the importance of personal relationships – and taking time to appreciate, nurture and enhance them. Of course, the first relationship that comes to mind is that with my now fiance. Together, through the pandemic, we grew to appreciate each other on a much deeper level, and as a result, we’ll say our “I dos” in a post-pandemic (hopefully) world next year. But outside of this relationship, I very purposefully spent time loving on my aging parents, my niece and nephews and some long-distance friends. It’s easy to just speed through life, making sure that you check everything off your list every day – all the while forgetting those who mean the most to you. 2020 showed me that tomorrow is not promised, so you should give virtual kisses, digital hugs and words of appreciation to those in your circle, as frequently as you can!