I’ve been in a bit of a funk the last week or so. It’s COVID, it’s politics, it’s the weather. November is hard for me. I hate when the trees lose their leaves, the grass turns brown, the sky turns gray, the temperature drops.
So I am going to take the advice of an old friend and list the top ten things that fill me with gratitude—in no particular order. I find when I focus on the things for which I am grateful, it makes me feel better. So here goes.
- I am thankful for my husband and my children and my grandchildren. They are the rocks in my life, the ones who get me from spot to spot, no matter how roiling is the water beneath our feet.
- I am thankful for my parents. My father is gone, and my mother is struggling. But they were a constant source of love and support in my life, and I hold all the memories close to my heart.
- I am thankful for the rest of my family, including all the cousins I’ve found on this genealogy journey. They all remind me how connected we all are—all humans—regardless of where we grew up or when or how.
- I am thankful for my three cats, whose ability to live in the moment and to provide constant companionship, affection, and comfort has been so very important during the last nine months.
- I am thankful for my friends—my friends from high school, from college, from law school, and from the community where I have lived since 1983. So many times in the last nine months I have turned to my friends—by Zoom, text, telephone, email. They have made me laugh, they have given me perspective, they have given me strength. I hope I’ve done the same for them.
- I am thankful for the genealogy village—those who read my blog, those who help me with my research and with translations, those in the Facebook groups who comment and help answer my questions. Family history research has been one way I’ve escaped from the anxiety of the pandemic. It has given me focus and a distraction and continues to keep my brain working.
- I am thankful for the good fortune I have to live in a comfortable house in a wonderful community of neighbors. In the course of our daily walks we’ve gotten to know our neighbors and their dogs and feel so fortunate to live where we live.
- I am thankful that I don’t have to worry about where my next meal will come from or whether I will be able to get adequate medical care or whether I will be harassed or injured because of my race. In a time when so much feels dangerous, I’ve learned more than ever to appreciate just how privileged I am.
- I am thankful for the beautiful world we live in. We’ve taken walks and hikes in places we never knew about before and in places that we’ve always loved—the beach and the woods, the mountains and the lakes. I learned early on that getting into a quiet place surrounded by nature was often the best thing to do to find solace and calm the noise in my head.
- I am thankful for science and for doctors and nurses and all the frontline workers in hospitals and grocery stores and elsewhere who are putting their lives on the line to do everything possible to keep us safe.
That’s my top ten. There are probably hundreds if not thousands more. What are yours?