Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Thanksgiving (in the USA)

It's not a regular Thanksgiving. It hasn't been a regular year. I'll be short and sweet, pointing out my main take away for this 5 day weekend from work that I am going to have.

I'm thankful for a couple of things;
  • First and foremost that no one in my immediate family has been killed by covid.
  • Second, no one of my friends has died of covid.
  • I have a couple of friends and family who have had covid, but aren't showing too many long term symptoms so far. I'm grateful for that too.
  • I haven't lost my job. And, even though I'm scared of jinxing anything, I don't think I am at risk for losing my job over the next 6 months either.
  • My lovely man hasn't lost his job either, nor being at risk.
  • Both of us have been able to work from home full time, we are lucky enough to have space so it's not one room for both of us.
  • I've given more to charity - both locally to the "server/service fund, local foodbank, the local arts and theatre company, and globally to Doctors without borders and Kiva - than I've ever done. Mainly this has been easy since I decided that if we didn't go out to eat, drink and travel - I could spend a good portion of that money on others who will be in need of it since clearly I could spend it before, so why shouldn't I spend it on people who need it now?
  • I've also tried "two birds with one stone" and purchased a couple (a dozen?) of virtual races for good causes (charity). This has been a way for me to keep motivated to get out of the house and walk/run when the weather was 100F in the summer, and to keep going when it turned more rainy and dark in the fall. (I am tempted to post a list of the races with photos of all the medals, yet I don't want to come off as a bragging person but someone who want to share happy things!)

I'm not stating this to feel good about myself (only). It's been a help for me to find my footing in a world full of uncertainty and not being in control (apart from over my very tiny part of working from home reality). 

It was extremely clear to me when I had the good fortune to go back to my home country in the summer to take care of my parents. After more than 3 months in an all controlled environment (my house and working from home) I got on a flight (well, three flights) and then entered a world where people weren't wearing masks nor felt it was necessary to quarantine after said flights. Needless to say, I had a rough first week. Lucky for me, and I do mean this from the bottom of my heart, I could stay all alone in a hotel room getting my bearings. I could go outside in the temperate summer and go running to alleviate some of my stress and anxiety. And then I got to spend three weeks with my aging parents. It was one of those times where we made memories and I felt like a good daughter and they felt like good parents.

I stayed at a hotel for over 30 days. And that didn't break my bank. (It was a lot of discount due to covid but still, being able to stay in a hotel for that long is a luxury. And I am thankful for that.)

I said short and sweet, so I will stop here. If you have the opportunity of giving to someone else - local foodbank, a venmo for a friendly server, a virtual race that gives to opportunities for women in law (Ruth Bader Ginsburg race....) or anything else that goes to someone out there in need of support - please consider it this holiday season. If there ever was a time to use those "Christmas present money" on others rather than on some unused little gadget, now is the time.

I will use my five days off work to contemplate my luck in life, my present day and consider my future and what I want with it. Lofty goals perhaps, but every journey begins with one step.

(and I will also try and not think and dread too much about my charity marathon run that has to happen week after Thanksgiving. Weather is looking like "the coldest it's been all fall" with temperatures starting in the high 20ies at night, and steady 30-40 during the day.....)