I don’t think I’m breaking news by posting that this past year has been a difficult year. Millions of people are out of work with no way to buy food or pay their rent. Schools are shut down with an entire generation of children facing a severe setback in their development and education. Our country remains in turmoil with one half of our people ready to go to war against the other half. People have been locked inside their homes for as long as eight months with no end in sight.
But today is Thanksgiving, a day we traditionally set aside to give momentary thanks for the blessings we do have. One day out of a year to remember the good things as a perspective on all the bad things. So this is my small contribution to giving thanks.
Today is day 259 that Winnie and I have been locked together inside our house. More than anything else, I feel blessed that we’ve been able to make this work and still get along. Winnie has been my real source of strength; she’s taken this slow-rolling disaster in stride just as easily as she handled the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
I’m thankful that I’ve not only been able to stay employed during this pandemic, I actually landed a job I’ve wanted for almost ten years. My occupation allows me to work from home, making my life just a little bit safer from catching this Coronavirus. More importantly, my job pays enough that Winnie can stay at home and we still have enough income for our expenses.
I’m thankful for our continued good health. Not only have Winnie and I avoided the pandemic virus, we haven’t had any other illness that required major medical care. I’m also thankful that despite all the illness, we have dedicated people out on the frontlines of our hospitals, risking their physical and mental health every day taking care of others.
Thankful For An Education
My special blessing of this year is completing another college degree at age sixty-four. I’m in the final two weeks of my two-year college program about to earn a Masters in Education (MEd) with concentration in Instructional Design. My grades are somewhere around a 3.95 out of 4.0, an incredible-for-me grade point average. I went into this program still carrying hidden but painful wounds of my wretched K-12 education and a checkered academic past. Sometime during the past two years of graduate-level education, those wounds stopped hurting.
Once again, I’m grateful for Winnie’s strength and grace. Winnie has happily prepared three hot meals each day under sometimes trying conditions since March 13. She’s kept the house going while I’ve worked and studied from a corner desk in my den / mancave / office. If not for her, I’m not sure I could have completed this graduate program.
Focused On What’s Important
This pandemic will end someday, perhaps sooner than we realize. But unlike a Hollywood movie bad stuff doesn’t just end happy. The aftermath of this global pandemic will define us for years to come. The one thing that I’m learned from my enforced lockdown is recognizing what is really important. So above all else, I’m grateful for learning what is really important while I’m still healthy enough to use this knowledge.
This is no small thing. Over the past years I’ve lost too many friends and family members my age who died young. I remember them with a feeling of loss that their years on this earth were so short.
To all my readers; I wish you and family a Happy Thanksgiving. The one constant in this world is that things are always changing. At some point, things have to change for the better.