My New Eyes And A Fresh Look At Gratitude: The Unexpected Gift That Only 2020 Could Give

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The pandemic was an epic-sized shit show; there is no doubt about that. We were hit with something that none of us saw coming and at first, we didn’t know what to do. 

The information was trickling in and the fog of war created some real confusion with the medical community, politicians, and the citizens of planet earth. We muddled through, but at great cost.

People stood outside of assisted living homes and hospital windows and watched their loved ones die without being able to hold their hand as they passed, with no way to comfort them or to say goodbye in person. We watched our kids struggle as they were restricted to the confines of their home, disconnected from their friends, and learning from a computer screen. 

People all over the world lost their jobs and family businesses that took generations to build were destroyed. Family holidays were canceled and suicide and substance abuse became major concerns. This was life in 2020, but things are getting better, and we can feel it coming.

I remember living in Salt Lake City, Utah for a few months and sitting at a stoplight, looking around and marveling at how beautiful the mountains were. Funny thing was that I was the only one doing it. Everyone else was faced forward waiting for the green. 

When you get used to something it’s easy to take it for granted. Isn’t that what’s happened to us? But when something gets taken away from you, its absence gives you a deeper sense of appreciation. Think about all of the things we could not do over the past 12 months and how that has sort of become the new norm. 

These bad times can be very difficult to navigate. When the waves are crashing in on top of you over and over again, you start to wonder if you are ever going to be able to catch your breath. But when they stop and you can fill your lungs up with a big breath of oxygen, that feeling of relief is pretty awesome. 

It’s not about being able to breathe, because we do that all the time. It’s about the contrast of gasping for air or living through a rough period, compared to the joy that comes when things change. Nothing lasts forever. The bad will turn to good, just give it time and when it does the happiness we experience is so much greater because we’ve had something to compare it to.

Where am I right now? In a word; grateful. I’m grateful for the things I used to take for granted like a dinner with friends or seeing my kids off to school. In the past going to Las Vegas for the furniture market was an obligation, now it feels like a vacation. 

We are planning a trip to be with my family over the summer so after missing Thanksgiving and Christmas together, we get to spend time in the same house on a beach in Florida. 

Taking things for granted is pretty typical for any human, and the only way to adjust that is to lose something that you thought was a given, so most of all, I’m grateful that I see things differently today. I have this profound sense of appreciation for the little things now. I value my relationships differently and my ability to go about life the way we used to. 

Things are getting better and that feels awesome, so I will soak that up and ready myself for more waves because we all know they’re coming. Difference is, I will be in a better place until that time. Appreciating what I have and living in the moment as it should be. My hope for you is the same. Pura Vida…live that pure life, my friends.

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