Towards the end of the year, I like to take time, to think back, gather my thoughts and appreciate the things that are important to me; the things I’m grateful for. This year has been a particularly challenging year for everyone globally. The pandemic has affected everybody differently. While I do not believe in forced, toxic positivity (which can be incredibly damaging), I do believe in the power of practising gratitude; whether that be internally or externally, and the benefits it can bring to your life.
Perhaps compiling it into a post is a rather selfish endeavour on my behalf but it is one I find therapeutic and goodness knows we all need something that feels good right now, don’t we?! So here’s a few things I’m particularly grateful for in 2020.
Finding Gratitude In – Being Here
Let’s face it my health wasn’t great before the pandemic and it has become increasingly worse this last year. I haven’t been able to eat a ‘real diet’ for years now, I’m very immobile and I rely on my parents for my care. Throw a killer virus into the mix and well, to have fought through the year (Covid free) is a blessing. Even if I barely see outside of my four walls. I have a lot of gratitude for that.
Finding Gratitude In Family
Crikey, where would I be without them? I am forever grateful for the loving support of my family. It is endless. They care for me in every way while watching my illnesses break me; they help pick me back up, no matter how many pieces I am shattered into or how hard I fall (literally and figuratively). My family are forever impacted by my health, by the lack of support we receive for my conditions and yet they still fight on, even when I do not have the strength to.
I am forever grateful. There are simply not enough words to say just how much.
The more grateful I am, the more beauty I seeMary Davis
Finding Gratitude In Moments
Those brief moments of (safe and far) contact with others. Although so very, very few and far between they have meant so much. Being someone who has become used to isolation and loneliness thanks to the constraints of my illnesses, I was strangely prepared for the lockdowns and restrictions of 2020. However, I equally relish the small amount of contact with loved ones I had before the pandemic, so to lose that was tough. I am grateful to have had the support to fight through and very grateful for the contact I have been lucky to have.
Finding Gratitude In Technology
We may not have been best prepared for a pandemic in many ways but there was one in which we were. Unlike pandemics of the past, when the world closed down we still had to ability to stay in touch. Although I struggle with FaceTime and phone calls (due to oversensitivity of noise and movement) and that has sadly not been a regular part for me, the fact we have the ability to text, to check in with each other and the world via social media, well for that I am grateful.
The fact I could text my brother while he lived on the other side of the world during a pandemic, I am grateful.
That my nieces could send me voice notes as they knew I couldn’t manage phone calls, for that I am grateful.
Finding Gratitude In Those Who Stayed Home
To the people who stayed home. Who didn’t take risks. Who decided that a miss to their social life was worth it. I am grateful. You may have saved someone’s life and you reminded me that my life, as a vulnerable person, has worth.
There has been a lot of divide online this last year. Much anger, frustration and hate muddled in a sea of ‘survival of the fittest’ comments. This has been truly damaging to the chronically ill/vulnerable/disabled community. The very people who already know first hand how awful long term isolation is and felt pain and empathy for others as they saw it happen on a worldwide scale. Nobody wants people’s lives to be put on hold.
So to those who acted selflessly, who cared for one another. To those who changed their minds, their actions and acted better. To everyone who cared about the passerby in the street, the key worker, the school teacher, the stay at home parent, the vulnerable, the NHS worker, the child, the neighbour… I am grateful to you.
The root of joy is gratefulnessDavid Stiendl-Rast
Finding Gratitude In Scientists
To those who produced a super-smart, next-generation vaccine for a killer virus in a matter of months that will allow society to get back on its feet and save many, many lives: I am grateful.
Finding Gratitude In Medical Staff
To those who have worked tirelessly, under supported in many ways: I am grateful.
Finding Gratitude in You
To you. My lovely readers and followers. I am forever grateful for your loving support in all of my work be that: creative makeup, revelling in the latest beauty launch, advocating for better healthcare treatment or being painfully honest about life with my chronic illnesses.
For your support, your kindness and the laughs, I am grateful.
There is a light at the end of this dark tunnel. Let’s be kind to one another as we find our way to it. Everyone needs help and support sometimes.
As my youngest niece, Iona (who’d just turned five at the time), said during the first lockdown “I know it’s hard right now but we can get through it and be together soon.”
With love and gratitude ❤️
If you’re looking for more to read, why not check out:
And if you’d like to read my gratitude post from last year: