Things I Am Grateful For in 2020

By Nathaniel

Dec 15, 2020 · 4 min read
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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Struggle is a necessary investment for progress but wow oh wow, 2020 has made us struggle. It really felt like the saying, “the glass is half full,” wasn’t even applicable anymore. This year kicked us while we were down and, as we crawl to the finish line, hoping that 2020 energy doesn’t bleed into 2021, I took some time to reflect and really think about the positives this year. In counting my blessings, I came to the conclusion that I should be grateful that I had a “glass of water,” even if it was “less than half full.” Here are some of the blessings 2020 has given me; I hope there are some positive things in your life that you are able to reflect on, too:

2020 has gifted me with the priceless and irreplaceable gift of time. Working and learning from home saved me 100% of my travel time and physical exhaustion. With my newfound time, I was able to pack my schedule with things I wouldn’t have been able to do had I not been at home. Before Covid, I was working part-time as front counter staff at a recreation centre, studying full-time, and had obligations to my family. That was all I could make time for. Now, I work full-time from home for my co-op placement and part-time at the recreation centre, and I had the opportunity to become a communications director for OASIS, a student writer for this blog, and take a class this semester, and I was able to keep up with my obligations to my family. I can say with confidence that I wouldn’t have been able to do all of that had I needed to leave my house every day for school and work. Being forced to stay home has, fortunately, blessed me with the time to take advantage of opportunities and hone in on developing my skills. Beyond that, I had time to reconnect with people I didn’t get to see that often even before Covid. With my extra time, I was sure to reach out to family friends to catch up virtually and see how everyone was really doing.

Like many university students, I still live at home. I live in a house with my parents, siblings, and one of my cousins, totaling a household of seven people. During the first lockdown, I really got to know the people I live with as individuals. For example, I learned that there is a difference between my little brother being my little brother, and my little brother being a person to have intellectual conversations with. With our time at home, we got to talk about Covid policies, racial injustice, and what’s happening at school and at work. Pre-pandemic we would only ever really talk to each other about things pertaining to our household, but through our time during lock down, I got to learn more about the person he has become and is becoming. This holds for everyone else that I live with as well. I’ve got to know them outside of our familial relationship and strengthen our connection.

With my extra time this year, I reflected on the blessings I have in my life. I am in good health, I have people who love me, I have a job, I have a roof over my head, I have a car, I am privileged enough to be receiving a higher education, I am not living paycheck to paycheck, and I have a future to look forward to. I know my problems are real but I keep in mind that I have incredible blessings in my life and that lots of people in the world can’t say they have. My thoughts and prayers go out to anyone and everyone that has faced and will continue to face the negative consequences of Covid, injustice, and really anything else this year has thrown our way. 2020 has reminded me that my life could be way worse and I am grateful for all that I have, and give back when and where I can.

As a practicing Christian who has gone to church every Easter for as a long as I can remember, it was mind boggling to me that I had to celebrate from my living room this year. I think this sentiment holds up for anyone who holds a practice, hobby, or event that required gatherings near and dear to their heart. You may have missed a wedding, a vacation, a religous holiday, an important birthday, hobbies like going out with your friends, going to networking events, or attending your weekly rec sports league. However I discovered that people found really interesting, innovative, and creative ways to find virtual work arounds. For my church, it was a live-streamed service with a sermon on how to find God in your home. For my friend’s basketball rec league, his team played a virtual game of 21. 2020 has let me re-imagine and reconnect with my passions.

It’s extremely easy to say that this year sucked! And if that’s still your stance, you’re probably right. But like me, I ask that you reflect on the large questions and ask yourself, ‘what really matters in my life?’ I have known this my entire life but 2020 has reiteratied to me that as long as I have my faith, my family and friends, and good health, odds are everything will be fine.

Here’s to wishing everyone a happy holidays filled with insightful reflection, safe celebrations, rest, and a wonderful 2021!


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