The world around us changed drastically this year, striking our lives blow after blow, launching us into painful uncertainty. We waited breathlessly for the world to change, feeling hopeless and helpless as the days turned into weeks and the weeks stretched into months. But with every painstaking day, we grieved, we grew, and we discovered how much we have to be thankful for in 2020.
2020 has taught us to be thankful for our health. We witnessed death tolls rising, loved ones panicked and grieving, recoveries happening day by day as we wondered if we would be next. We said goodbye before we were ready, wishing so many lives weren’t needlessly cut short. We wondered how we escaped it all, why so many kindhearted people with unlimited potential lost their lives while we were spared. And with every day we survived, we gave thanks that we were the fortunate ones, still somehow living and breathing as the world fell to shambles around us.
2020 has taught us to be thankful for our loved ones. We sank into loneliness as the world became silent, wondering when we could satiate our burning desire for connection. We celebrated each other’s milestones and achievements from a distance, wishing life were on our side and we could remain fully present for those we love. We fought for any iota of quality time we could, showing up for friends and family in unconventional ways, making precious memories nonetheless. And with every day we spent apart, we gave thanks for the ways the people around us enrich our lives, providing love, laughter, and solace on the darkest days.
2020 has taught us to be thankful for the small things. We fought to survive as we lost loved ones, jobs, and human connection, feeling unquellable anxiety as our lives changed instantaneously without a resolution in sight. We began to take life day by day, learning to feel again, learning to love again. We began to appreciate anything that brought us any semblance of joy — the first breath of fresh air in weeks, the calls from friends and family, the savory aroma of the bread we baked when we couldn’t leave home. And with every day we went without our former necessities, we gave thanks for everything we overlooked — the comforts of home, the friends who constantly dry our tears, the fragile, heartbreaking beauty of life itself.
This year may have left us exhausted, jaded, wishing for more as we fervently hope for a world of healing. But in the midst of its heartbreak and chaos, 2020 has taught us to be thankful for all that we have — our time spent living and breathing, the loved ones who carry us through the dark times, and the small but significant moments that reassure us that even in the darkness, life is still beautiful.