2020 has tested us. Seriously, many times I thought we were experiencing the Twilight Zone apocalypse. But I also feel it’s put a lot of life in perspective- and for that, I’m really grateful.
Here are 20 things I’m thankful for this year.
In March, life took a 180, and all of a sudden us parents had to manage a balancing act that seemed nearly impossible. However, we were gifted an abundance of time. Time that taught us to slow down, look around, and savor our family unit. Granted, we were juggling virtual learning, working, cooking, cleaning, and trying to stay sane- but in the midst of it, there were many precious moments of simply being in the present knowing time was on our side.
For myself… and my kids. I’m thankful that my sons luckily adjusted to the covid lifestyle just fine- in fact, I took it harder than them. Every time I asked whether they liked being home, they said “yes”- even though I know they didn’t want to hurt my feelings. Were they bored? Yep. Antsy? Absolutely. But did they handle change with grace and flexibility? Totally. And guess what? I did too. I learned that I’m much stronger than I thought I was and could operate on little sleep to get through every day.
This goes without saying as grocery shelves stood bare. During the first few months, my husband did the shopping- I rarely left the house. While we stocked up, we didn’t “over-stock” or hoard TP, paper towels, etc. (I was honestly more concerned with having enough mac and cheese.) My husband and I agreed there were people who needed it more than us- we were fine, and had plenty of frozen food and wine to get us through each day.
Speaking of wine- there was a time during covid that we cashed a bottle a night. Don’t judge. And for those nodding their head in agreement- you are my people.
I love to travel, and I live to travel, and my children have that adventurous spirit as well. I’ll admit- we were those people that still escaped, via car, safely, cautiously, and to simply get away. And honestly- our 2020 road trips will go down as the best we’ve ever had… because boy did we need it! In fact, I became to determine to see things I haven’t seen, so the boys and I ventured straight to the Tetons- powering through multi-hour stretches of driving. It was a magical trip that changed me- and us all- forever.
6. The simple things
Can’t tell you how much Uno we’ve played over the past year; family game night became a regular thing, and I’m truly grateful for that. Oh- and one of my favorite nights of 2020 was making a fire outside, roasting s’mores and staying up way too late. (Didn’t matter- had nothing to wake up for the next day!) We also went on sooooo many bike rides. These- all reminders it’s the little things, the precious things, the simple things that are most dear to the heart.
7. Making amends
This one’s interesting. Over the course of 2020, I’ve reconnected and rekindled relationships with old friends and relatives. I think we all realized that life is short, and anything can happen at any moment in time… and so: to forget the shit, move on, and move forward… prioritizing love first. And all these reconciliations… they’ve lifted weights off my shoulders, and in turn, I’m more at peace in my life than ever before.
8. Surrendering obligation and expectation
Holidays, birthdays, milestones… up in smoke thanks to 2020. However, I’m thankful that we’ve been able to surrender obligation and expectation, and instead, work around it. Honestly, it’s kind of nice celebrating birthdays intimately with our family unit, and my son’s preschool graduation drive-by will forever be embedded in my heart. I’m thankful to have learned how to surrender to the situation and make adjustments accordingly.
9. Getting creative
This covid stuff has got my mind moving again- my high is getting creative. During covid, my 7-year-old launched a booming business… and it simply started as a creative challenge I gave him. And for me- I have a laundry list of projects I’m working on. It feels good, and I’m thankful for that.
10. My relationship
Covid tested everything- especially marriages. I’m not here to say mine is perfect- it’s far from- but to me, it’s exactly how it should be. Having a companion to experience the ups, downs, good, and bad. As stressful as this year has been given life uncertainty, my husband and I are still standing strong- and for that, I’m grateful.
11. Good health
I will never take good health for granted again. In fact, this year has taught me to take more vitamins and drink more water. My family, friends and I have all remained fairly healthy throughout this, so I’m very thankful.
12. A home
Growing up, we moved a lot. But there was always a roof over my head and my house always looked like a home- even when we lived in apartments. This year more than ever, I’m thankful we have a house full of love, and a place to find comfort.
13. A job
I’ve always been thankful for having a job, but with so many people losing theirs, I’m particular grateful to be employed and valued.
I look at life different now. It’s hard to explain, but I’m thankful for the perspective I’ve gained. I’ll never think twice about having my kids ditch school to travel; I still fall asleep with my baby because why not; and my attitude on life is most focused on what brings me joy, happiness and inner peace… and not doing what doesn’t. Maybe I’m just getting older and more careless, but I just don’t care about a lot of stuff anymore. My target focus is on me and my family unit.
Oh boy, this is a biggy. My patience has been tested A LOT over the course of the year… between three young boys, work, life… it hasn’t been easy. I’ve yelled a whole, but I also feel my patience has reached a new limit. And for that, I suppose I’m grateful (even tho it’s a catch 22).
16. My children, and their brotherly bond
My boys are each other’s best friends. Sure, they fight… but man, watching the love they share and more so- the friendship, makes me the happiest mom of all. Their friendship has really evolved this year, and truly, it’s the most beautiful thing to witness.
17. My friends
I believe in quality over quantity. I’d rather have a few good friends than 25 drinking buddies. I’m so thankful for my little, tight-knit circle… the women who check in me, love me like a sister, text me funny memes, and who are lovingly dubbed my quarun-team. Without them, I’d feel really alone.
Earlier this year I was having a really shitty day, and I vented to my son’s kinder teacher. The next morning, I awoke to a sign outside my front door with the simple phrase: You got this, Nadine. Queue the tears, right?! It came from my son’s teacher. Thank goodness for teachers who care, and for those who go above and beyond to show our kids love during these crazy times.
Cliché, yes, but necessary… 100%. I’m thankful to be surrounded by love and to give love to those I love so effortlessly and authentically.
20. To be thankful
I’m so thankful to FEEL thankful. This year, more than ever- I’m thankful to just be alive and to have things to be thankful for. I’m thankful to see the bright side, and to have listed 20 things I’m grateful for with such ease. The words of this article flowed from my heart straight to computer. It didn’t take much time for me to think about the things I appreciate, and to me, that’s something really very special.