Dumpster fire. Toilet bowl. The worst ever. Crap pot. The end of the world. The wrath of
God. The disaster. The year that went to you know where. These sentiments and more I have heard to describe the year that is 2020. Just when you think things cannot get any worse, 2020 manages to prove you wrong, right? Well, if you feel this way, I would like to challenge this thought. Although 2020 has been wrought with more challenges than I could have ever imagined, there have been some personal victories in 2020. I will share some of my highlights. I encourage you to keep an open mind and try to find some good among the not so good of this year and be thankful anyway.
Before 2020 started, I created a vision board with 12 major things that I hoped to accomplish this year. For a year that I had no idea would be so tumultuous, 9 out of 12 isn’t bad! Even in the midst of a pandemic, racial turmoil, and a divided nation here are a few things that I am thankful for in 2020.
1. I launched Confessions of a Nurse Practitioner and have successfully published blog posts, articles, and had speaking opportunities. I am thankful for your support of this endeavor. I am also thankful for a platform that educates and inspires.
2. Debt elimination. Thanks to being able to defer some payments and to having some plans canceled, we were able to pay off more debt! This time has also given us a chance to reevaluate our financial goals.
3. Increased quality time with family. I know many people have complained about the increased time at home but I have cherished it and would actually appreciate more of it. Now please take into account that while most of the world was shifting into work from home life or modified work schedules, mine never skipped a beat. So the extra minutes that I can get, I am thankful.
4. Exercise. This year, I vowed to exercise more and I have. My exercise has been mostly in the form of walking. I even had a stretch where I managed to walk for 3 months in a row without missing a single day! I am proud of myself for that but in general, I aim for at least 3 days a week.
5. Family members with COVID who recovered. COVID-19 has impacted all of us in some way or another. I have seen the tragedies and triumphs of the disease. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for families and friends who have survived and persevered.
6. Being able to connect via technology. I know many are tired of Zoom, Google Meet, and the like but think about how much more difficult things could have been without these modalities. Thanks to video technology, I have been able to have girls’ night with my aunts and cousins, attend birthday parties and showers, continue with book club meetings, connect with my writing group, attend conferences, and more. And for many of you, work was still possible thanks to technology. Not that I want to see my friends and family via Zoom the rest of my life but I am thankful for it nonetheless.
7. Writing. It has been so invigorating, rewarding, fun, and therapeutic getting back to writing this year. I do not plan to stop again and I am so thankful for the feedback and encouragement of others. What hobby or passion have you allowed to become dormant that needs to be revived?
8. Health. My health is something that I do not take for granted. In my profession, I witness fading or challenged health daily and it encourages me to work hard to maintain the health that I have. As far as diagnoses go, I have high blood pressure. Though I lament this, it pales in comparison to what some endure. It is up to me to be sure I stay on track managing it through my lifestyle and medication. It is not lost on me that things could be worse so I try not to complain.
9. Family and friends. This could be an entire post by itself but I’ll keep it short. I am so thankful for my family and friends. They come through for me like no other. And not just my dad and brothers (who are exceptional) but I also mean aunts, uncles, cousins, and in-laws too. As far as friends go, I feel beyond blessed. People talk about how blessed and rare it is to have one true friend but my experience is different. I can truly say that I have a few close friends who I know have my back at any time and who can be trusted. As for my children, well they help me keep things in perspective. If I want the unfiltered truth about things, I know that is what I will get from them even when I don’t ask. Ha! I am thankful to be their mother and for their unconditional love. I cannot have a gratitude list that does not include my husband. He is the real MVP for sure. A lot of who I am and what I have been able to do is because of him. He is the epitome of a family man and his love for us is always apparent. Even when he thinks that I am doing the most (LOL), he is supportive and I am thankful.
10. Faith. “If it had not been for the Lord on my side, tell me where would I be, where would I be?” Honestly, I have no idea how people who don’t have faith maintain peace of mind or continue to navigate in such a world of turmoil. There are many times I have to remember that I know who holds the future despite what everything around me looks like. I find comfort in the midst of storms because I know who has the final say and I trust Him. Faith in God gets me further than I could ever get alone. Jesus alone keeps me grounded and steadfast. I am thankful for my faith because it is an integral part of who I am and I cannot live without it. Faith has surely been what has kept me in 2020. “Increased relationship with Jesus” was on my vision board. I had no idea 2020 would look like this but it is safe to say that I accomplished this goal.
No matter what may come, I encourage you to find opportunities to give thanks. An attitude of thanks leads to a better attitude and a heart of gratefulness. What are you thankful for?