Good still exists, even in the worst of years.
On any other given year, we’d be sitting around the table passing mashed potatoes and dried out turkey. Our cousins would be fighting over the wishbone, our grandma would be asking us to speak a little louder, the dog would be waiting for table scraps, and our dad would be talking about his new favorite IPA. However, in 2020, that’s not the case.
This year has brought forth unprecedented events and continuous uncertainty into our lives, while the majority of us crave normalcy and a sense of predictability. The year 2020, has pulled the rug out from under us — and we have often been scrambling to regain our balance.
This year will forever be synonymous with pain, sadness, and fear. Every emotion that we biologically try to avoid, has been sitting on our chests — without the intention of moving on. It’s easy to get caught up in the negativity, and flat out shitiness that has unfolded in the past 10 months. If you haven’t, I’d be hard-pressed to call you human… our souls are naturally fragile to misfortune.
So as Thanksgiving arrives, the holiday that fills hearts with gratitude, and stomachs with dense calories — how do we proceed with thankfulness in a year that has robbed so much good, and seemingly only left the bad?
Maybe this year you’ve lost a job.
Maybe this year you’ve been isolated from your social circle.
Maybe this year you’ve fallen into substance abuse.
Maybe this year you’ve needed a therapist more than ever.
Maybe this year you’ve seen your marriage fall apart.
Maybe this year you’ve watched a loved one die.
Maybe this year you’ve given up hope for America.
A lot of wrongs have happened in a span of over 300 days. There is no reversing or sugarcoating that truth. This article isn’t aimed to dismiss the heartbreak and salted tears that many of us have endured. I’m writing to you with the sole purpose of hope. Words aren’t always healing, but sometimes they help.
This Thanksgiving, I’m going to look back on this year and acknowledge the struggles I have faced, that my family has faced and that this world has faced. But in that same moment, I am going to exhale the past 40-plus weeks and inhale this: I am still here.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that our spirits are not easily buried. Yes, we fall, but we always get back up. Every single person reading this article has gone through a valley this year. Maybe you’re still going through it… But you’re still here.
I want to encourage you to look at Thursday as a hard reset. Looking at life, not in big sections, but individual pieces. Day by day. Not week to week or month to month. By minimizing our sample size, each of us can find something to be thankful for on a daily basis — even in the COVID era.
Maybe that’s how life should be lived, not as an aggregate sum, but in individual factors. Where sometimes life will produce a negative result but includes at least a few positive numbers. Now I’m not trying to get all mathematical here, but I do want to emphasize that even in the worst of times, good still exists.
The worst tasting pie still has some right ingredients.
This type of Thanksgiving, in the year 2020, will hopefully never occur again. But on this rare occasion, I hope we can pay tribute to reality, but highlight the wins that are still there — big or small. Whatever your holiday plans include this year, I hope you’re able to give way to the good — because it’s still here.