Until this year, I’ve never felt compelled to publicly share what I’m thankful for beyond the family table. Social media seems to have the pulse of everyone’s gratitude, and, as expected in the year 2020, people have a new viewpoint from which to see their blessings.
So whether you are sharing thanks around a table of two, a Zoom of 20, or with 200 of your closest social media pals, be thankful for our collective resilience to adapt and persevere.
Here’s what I’m thankful for this year:
My children’s teachers
Along with front-line healthcare workers, teachers are the MVPs of the pandemic. If this crisis has taught us anything, it’s how unbelievably critical teachers are to our economy and overall well-being. They should be one of the first to receive vaccines and then state legislatures should start pouring money into education budgets to pay them for the incredible role they play in raising our children.
Yes, I said raising our children, because hopefully now we’ve accepted the fact that parents cannot do this alone. I sent my kids back to traditional school because I had confidence in their leaderships to take the right precautions to keep potential exposures to a minimum. But, also knowing that the risk was never going to be zero. I personally know some parents that couldn’t accept any risk other than zero. I had very little confidence in my ability to provide the academic, social and developmental stimulation they needed. But then again, the mere fact that I had a choice where some didn’t, meant that I didn’t have to rise to the challenge. Yet so many other parents did and have risen beyond their expectations.
Our teachers have risen to every challenge and exceed expectations to provide my kids with safe and normal-ish classroom experiences. Both have excelled and have learned new independence that wouldn’t have been asked of them otherwise. My youngest walks into his pre-school every morning having said bye to me at the door of his school instead of us walking in together. It’s a routine I expected to be hard for both of us. But he walks in like a big kid with his backpack on and heads straight to his classroom with no fuss. And I watch him for a few of those little steps in admiration. And I know I have his wonderful teacher to thank for his confidence.
My husband’s job
There are companies like the one I used to work for, and there are companies like my husband’s that create a culture that prioritizes personal growth, ideation and collaboration. I’m convinced that this company is so successful because they give space for their employees to work to their strengths. Yes, there are quotas and revenue targets, but there is not an expectation for anyone to conform to a persona that isn’t inherently there.
Clearly, this is my opinion based on a sliver of observation. The truth is that I’m so grateful Justin has a job that he is excited about, that gives him opportunities to use his skill set beyond his job description, at a company that has great potential for career growth. His work ethic, passion and ambition means that I have space to focus on new directions for me and our family.
My family’s generosity
We absolutely would not have the opportunity to renovate our house, adjust to one income, and survive parenting in 2020 without the support and generosity of all of our parents.
We’ve been spoiled with care packages for the kids (and dog!) full of happies to keep them clothes, engaged and entertained. We’ve had a free and empty house to stay in when we needed to escape the stress of 2020 and to escape a rental house that everyone is over living in. And we’ve been gifted support in making our dream home a reality. A place our kids will forever call home.
We haven’t said thank you nearly well enough. We hope to do it many times in person come 2021.
All of the Above
Everything I’m thankful for this year, I’m thankful for because it’s given me the opportunity to slow down, think about what I want, and reset. I don’t remember Thanksgiving 2019 (because it was 10 years ago), but I know I was over-extended and my mental health was suffering.
Because of the change this year has brought, and because of the support of my husband and family, I have the opportunity to figure out what makes me the best me. And for that, I am forever thankful.