Practicing Gratitude: 5 Things I Am Grateful For In 2020
This year has been hard in a lot of ways for me and everyone else. On a global level, we are experiencing a pandemic like nothing we have ever seen. In the U.S., more than 260,000 people have died. Millions have been infected.
Then we have the president. And, although I would like nothing more than to bash on the man, rant about how amoral and horrible he is, and just write a whole book about it, I have decided that this post is going to be about gratitude, so let’s just say, he’s there. He sucks. And he’s trying to undermine our democracy.
On a personal note, I lost two out of three of my grandfathers this year. And we didn’t even get to say goodbye correctly because of this stupid pandemic.
When there is so much strife, frustration, sadness, and anger around you, you can pick one of two paths. The first is to embody that anger, experience that hatred and anxiety daily, and be as miserable as your surroundings make you. The second is to see what is happening around you and choose to practice gratitude anyway. I prefer the second, but I know I don’t do it perfectly. It is not easy to be grateful when it feels like the world has gone to shit.
I am writing this post now because it is Thanksgiving. It is the time of year where we feast and (hopefully) think back on what we are grateful for. This year, it is even more critical than usual. Thanksgiving is going to be different. Families will be separated. Gatherings will be smaller. And there’s a certain amount of fear and anxiety that comes from being around anyone, which is hard during the year when we most wish to be surrounded by loved ones.
But in the spirit of Thanksgiving and general positivity, I am going to share with y’all five things I am grateful for this year:
This year I got a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy. Although he is a pain in the butt (he has eaten two computer chargers in the last month and ruined a carpet), he is almost always the highlight of my day. His unconditional love and slightly unhealthy attachment to me have made me feel appreciated, and his neediness has forced me to stay accountable -- something I need dearly when working from home with no reason to leave the house.
Because this year has been so isolating, friendships are essential. My two closest friends have kept me grounded. They push me to work harder and to take proper care of myself. And most importantly, they insist that I never accept less than I deserve.
The multiple deaths in my family this year have emphasized the importance of maintaining and growing the relationships within my family in an authentic way. Although the loss of my grandfathers greatly saddens me, I am grateful for the connection I had with them. What’s the saying… it is better to have loved and lost than never loved at all? Nothing could be more accurate.
4) Full-time job
After being out of college for ten months, I finally landed a full-time job that not only pays the bills, but also makes me happy. I have wonderful coworkers who love working as a team, and I enjoy creating content and strategies for our clients. And in times like these, I’m grateful to have any job, but especially one that I am passionate about.
5) People supporting my art business
Last but not least, in 2020, I started my art business: Lizannbach Creative. Although Lizannbach Creative has not been the most profitable venture, it has taught me so much. I have been able to meet so many other creative people, and I did manage to sell a few pieces. All in all, it was not a great business year (obviously), but it was a great learning year.
So that’s the five things I am grateful for this year. I could list out more, but at a certain point it stops being grateful and starts being bragging. Thank you for reading this blog post. I hope you take the time to comment (or at least think about) what you are grateful for this year.