For many, 2020 was truly an annus horribilis. Loss of livelihood, a terrible disease that robbed many of their health, even their life. COVID brought that and much more. It certainly wasn’t the best year.
But it wasn’t my WORST year, not by a long shot. One of the comforts of ageing is that you can look back on times in your life when you were truly struggling and say “whew!, I survived that and I never have to go through it again”. And THOSE memories have made me grateful for many things that 2020 brought me.
Grateful for my partner. We married for better or worse. but I’m sure no one realized that meant 24 hours a day for 10 months. We’ve had our ups and downs since we married nearly 20 years ago, but we’re real partners now, real friends, with the same ridiculous sense of humour. I’ve been in a bad marriage, and I know the daily hell people can put themselves through. But we’ve really meshed in the past year, we support and love each other and we show that to each other every day.
Grateful for my kids. We’re fairly close as a family, we live right across the yard from the daughter and her children (which she has half time). I’m used to babysitting at a moment’s notice, and having visitors just pop in to read Harry Potter and make rock cakes or feed our pet fish. Or going out to the burbs to spend some time with the littlest g-kid while her parents have a well-deserved date. But now they are all out and about, going skiing and swimming, off to school. Being cautious of course, but even cautious people are getting COVID (see below). So we don’t see them. And they understand and respect that. On Christmas Eve we all got together at the main house, sitting out on the back deck that daughter had recently put a snazzy roof on. Daughter and her kids and even her ex-husband. Son and his wife and daughter. We wore masks except when we were eating and drinking, gathered around the fire pit. Then we separated again.
Grateful for my relationship with my sister. We had planned a trip to Great Britain, but of course we had to cancel when COVID led to strict travel bans. It broke my heart when, despite her precautions and care she got COVID and I could do nothing to help her. We spoke by phone and video messenger, but it would have been a comfort to me and a help to her if I’d lived in the same place as her. But she knows I love her, and we will be making our travel plans again when we can.
Soooooo grateful for my home. Not just because it’s perfect for us, comfortable and cheerful, but also because I have a home to be grateful for. So many are living rough right now, out on the street and unable to protect themselves, so vulnerable.
I’m grateful that our health professionals are working to keep us safe. I’m grateful for the teachers who are putting themselves in harm’s way to keep our kids (and grandkids) educated. I’m grateful for the cleaners who are working so hard to keep hospitals and schools and long-term care centres and public offices sanitized.
And I’m very grateful for Dr. Bonnie Henry and the governments who are trying to keep us alive until we can all be vaccinated. Mistakes were probably made, but the time to determine a better course is after we’ve returned to “normal” and the whole big picture is clearer. Right now I’m happy our provincial and federal governments have been led by science.
Times have been tough. But I’m grateful for everything that has been given to me, and I will stay grateful until we are all vaccinated and life will continue in a different pace, a different direction.