A few weeks ago, the school I worked for had a positive case of Covid-19. So the school was shut for cleaning and I found myself biting nails (figuratively) while waiting for the contact tracing team to figure out if any exposure had happened.
Thankfully, I wasn’t one of the ‘lucky’ ones who now have to quarantine for 2 weeks. But some of my other colleagues didn’t fare quite so well as well as an entire cohort of students. So my thankfulness comes with a tinge of guilt as well. Is it okay for me to be thankful when others have been impacted? This sounds awfully like survivor’s guilt, but on a much, much smaller scale.
While 2020 has dealt a fair blow to many people and with the pandemic and its many effects hanging over our heads, I think it’s still important to practise gratitude and acknowledge our thanks; to count our blessings, and to smile in the face of adversity. So allow me this indulgence, let me give thanks.
1. I am thankful to be alive and healthy.
There has been no other years in my 35 years of living, where I have been more thankful to be alive than 2020. To have the luxury of living, the indulgence of emotion, and the beauty of tasting the flavours that life brings… that is something to be thankful for.
I try to live my life intentionally, and certainly during many periods of 2020, I did not. I ate mindlessly, put on those covid kgs, and I wasted many hours binge watching YouTube as it was easier to go diving in a virtual world than to live in the current one we were in.
But all said and done, I fared very well through all of it (and I am well aware that many others didn’t), and would much rather have lived through this experience, than not at all, if by not at all it also meant not living through any other experiences ever again.
2. I am thankful for my partner.
I have talked about Mr BKLA on multiple occasions. From our differing money attitudes, to the fact that he is now a full time uni student, suffering from chronic depression and that I am the sole income earner of the household.
2020 has really shown the strength that exists within him and within our relationship. Even while he is fighting his own demons, he has been an avid cheerleader and a pillar of support for me as I fought hard against the stresses of Covid-19 and being the sole income earner. Without him, this journey would probably be much less stressful in many ways, but also so much more stressful in other ways.
I won’t lie, sometimes I feel resentful, and sometimes I feel life would be so much easier if we had two incomes instead of relying on my sole income. How much faster would I be able to reach my financial goals! Sometimes, it takes a lot of effort to swallow those bitter words down and then the moment passes and I know I was being irrational and silly and all is right in the world again.
3. I am thankful that I am still able to hit my financial goals
It’s hard, and my goals need to be smaller, but I can still get there. I can still put food on the table, I can still build my investment portfolio, I can still do a house renovation (January! Eek!). So, I think my blessings are plenty and I need to keep that in mind.
There are certainly many things to be thankful for this December as we sit and reflect on the year that has been. It has been a horrendous year for many, but I think that as long as we are able to find the silver linings, the things that truly matter and the things that keep us grounded as humans and in touch with our feelings, then there’s hope for us yet.