Gratitude in 2020
I don’t keep a gratitude journal or do any other kind of gratitude process. But 2020 has been…a lot, and it feels right to put down some of the things I have felt grateful so many times during the past year.
I am grateful that my family is healthy, that we have the capacity and fortune to weather this storm, that we are able to do all the things that will help most to keep us safe. I am grateful that my husband and I, after having spent almost eight months sheltering in place together, can see that our love and partnership holds true even in this kind of craziness. (It bodes pretty well for that someday retirement!)
I am grateful for my friends, the ones who live near me and make up my small, critical circle of support, and those I know in a virtual space. I am grateful for the people at my day job, some of the most committed, focused, and unbeatable people I have ever worked with. I am grateful for kidlit writers, for their faith that writing children’s books is an important act of resistance, kindness. and power. I hear their voices every time I wonder if the words I write will ever matter. I am grateful that writing has been a refuge for me in the past four years, and that I have been able to keep putting those words down on paper. I am grateful for my critique group partners, who are always there to push me to make those words better.
I am grateful for every single person who has done anything in the past four years to fight against the horrors of the current administration. I am grateful to everyone who voted, worked to increase voter registration, or spent time and energy encouraging other people to vote. I am grateful for Stacey Abrams and Fair Fight and all the other nonprofits and individuals in the same space, whose names I don’t know. I am grateful to every voter who looked at Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, saw the flaws, dealt with their own disappointment or grief or anger, and recognized the need to vote for these candidates no matter what.
I am grateful for my health. I am so grateful for my health. I’m grateful for the scientists who, despite an incredible lack of support, keep fighting to understand COVID-19 better, to learn how we can reduce the number of deaths, the number of hospitalizations, the severity of the symptoms. I am beyond grateful for the healthcare workers who put their own health and safety on the line every day, who care for every patient–even those who don’t believe in this disease and don’t believe in the help the healthcare workers are giving them. I am grateful for the researchers who are working to develop safe vaccines, and I am grateful to the people who are volunteering to test these vaccines…how do you even say thank you for something like that?
I am grateful for grocery staff, postal workers, librarians, gas-station attendants, booksellers–all the people who make it possible for me to live my life as safely and effortlessly as possible. To sit here and type these words into a blog post and understand, yet again, just how lucky I am.