My patience, which at one time I would have said I have in abundance, has been gradually unraveling since last March, to the point where, some days, it is close to being nothing more than ragged and frayed.
The Thanksgiving holiday, with all its adjustments, came and went and I was out of sorts because we were unable to spend it with our kids. I felt disappointed and cheated. What was there to be thankful for?
Thankfully, I was able to regain some control of my run-away petulance, yes, my immature behavior, a few days later when our long-time friend Bill sent us a very meaningful article written by New York Times journalist David Leonhardt,
A week before Thanksgiving, Leonhardt had invited readers to send in six words describing what made them thankful in 2020. The six-word memoir, a form of writing popularized by author Larry Smith, prompted more than 10,000 responses; Leonhardt selected several and printed them Thanksgiving morning.
Setting aside the heartbreaking lack of in-person gathering with family and friends, people pondered, "dug deep" and found many positive things about 2020 for which to express gratitude. I have randomly selected some of those uniquely resourceful reasons people came up with in this crazy, mixed-up time:
Family reunion in January, before covid.
Hearing granny laugh on the phone.
Faith, family, friends, dedicated medical professionals.
Ambulance took him. He came home.
Heathcare workers, Healthcare workers, Healthcare workers.
Reached age 92, grandson reached 3.
Windows have never been so important.
Sunny mornings, a window facing east.
It's just a cold, not Covid.
Got sober during 2020, stayed sober.
Wasn't too late to say sorry.
Lost job. Lost boyfriend. Found happiness.
There's really more kindness than hate.
Fell in love six feet apart.
Empty calendar means frequent dinners together.
I have someone I can hug.
Daughter lovingly uninviting me for Thanksgiving.
Zoom Thanksgiving beats an ICU Christmas.
Toddler sees Audrey Hepburn, says "Mama!"
Rediscovering myself by reading the Bible.
Tried. Failed. Failed worse. Kept going.
Out of prison with great job.
Still ridin' my horse at seventy.
Fell in love at age 75.
The many people who deliver food.
I'm just thankful for indoor plumbing.
5329 games of solitaire, won 5286.
Braless at home? No one cares.
No shame in elastic-waist pants.
Thankful for learning in my pajamas.
To be a United States citizen.
Trump is our best president ever.
Vaccines are coming, Thank you, Trump
Vaccine is coming, Trump is going.
Biden won the election-thank God.
I am bored, but not dead.
These six-liners reminded that if I tried hard enough, I, too, would be able to find some things for which to be thankful, even in this current sea of muck:
Ample coffee, chocolate and ice cream.
Phone calls, texting, e-mails, snail mail.
An outrageously generous supply of books.
Can remain indoors during the snowstorm.
Thoughtful friends who check-up on us.
The ability to fight the covid virus.
As long as we remember we are not alone on this journey to get beyond the pandemic, we CAN accept electronic visits from family and friends. We CAN overcome the glasses-fogging masks, the constant washing of hands, the inconvenient, seemingly unfriendly distancing, and the loneliness and fear of isolation and quarantine that have tried to paralyze us.
I am grateful to our friend for sending that important reminder.