What a year. 2020 was a lot of things. It simultaneously lasted for what seems like forever, but also flew by – because how is it March again when we’re not even over last March?! A world pandemic brought everyone’s lives to a screeching halt and changed the way we live and the way we parent. Some have lost the unimaginable this past year. Some of us transitioned into working and learning from home, while others were on the frontlines day in and day out (SO grateful for our front-line workers). No matter where you live or where you work, I think we can all agree that this past year has been a little more difficult to get through than we would have liked.
How I Found Gratitude
In a year where we have missed so many things, it’s easy to get caught up on what we feel we have been robbed of. I miss… my family that I haven’t been able to see, so much; going out with my husband; seeing my friends; wine and sushi nights with my best friend; carefree traveling; sending my toddler to school and letting him play with friends.
All of these things hold true. Yet, thinking of all of the things I’m missing or feel robbed of doesn’t make it any easier to get through them. Instead, I tried to approach 2020 with gratitude. If I added “but” to the end of each of the above statements and changed my perspective, I found myself feeling more gratitude than frustration.
I haven’t seen my friends in person in far too long, but friends have still shown up. Since we haven’t been able to have wine nights, we catch up with Facetime sessions and long phone chats. We talk more frequently than before and it’s been really encouraging to strengthen these friendships; even without seeing each other in person. There’s something sweet about knowing you and your friend are making the effort for each other, and I’m grateful to have those kinds of ladies in my life. Also, thanks to MMC, I’ve had the opportunity to nurture new friendships! I’m grateful for the community I’ve been able to find here.
I miss date nights with my husband and I definitely miss not being responsible for cooking all.of.the.meals and spending 1500 hours in the kitchen a day. Is that just me? I feel like as soon as I finish in the kitchen, it’s time for another meal! And that’s coming from someone who loves to cook. Thank goodness my husband does the dishes. Even though I miss date nights and dining out, my husband and I have had a lot of fun recreating meals and dishes at home. We’ve mastered pizza Friday, doughnuts, Pad Thai, and more. I guess that’s been its own kind of date night!
Being home with each other all day, while working from home, and taking care of our toddler, we rely on one another for much more than we used to. This has led to better communication and more appreciation for each other, something I’m very grateful for.
I also feel bad about my son not being able to start his half days at school; giving him structure and the opportunity to engage with other kids. However, the thing I’m hands-down most grateful for has been the opportunity to be home with my son. While there is NOTHING easy about juggling Zoom calls in 2 courtrooms while in the middle of lunchtime with a very vocal toddler, it has been worth every minute. Before, I used to be able to work from home one day a week and in the afternoons some days. This would all depend on how hectic things got. As the courts moved to virtual hearings, it meant I was able to be home instead of in court all day.
As my son has gone from a sweet little 1-year-old to a clever and adventurous 2-year-old, I’ve had the chance to witness so many milestones that I would have otherwise missed. Truth be told, I’m flat out exhausted most days by 4 P.M., especially with baby boy number 2 on the way. Even so, I wouldn’t change a thing (except maybe get some of my toddler’s energy). I will always, always be grateful for the days I got to be home with my sweet boy.
While there has been no shortage of things missed this past year, this helped me to try and change my perspective a bit. Maybe we can all find some gratitude even amongst the difficulties. Don’t get me wrong, when it is safe to do so, I will be the first in line to book a few vacations and spend many a night out to dinner with my husband and friends!