Happy belated Thanksgiving. How was your holiday in the age of COVID-19? Surprisingly for me, my Thanksgiving did not look too different from last year. Last year, I went to a restaurant with my boyfriend and a friend for a small Thanksgiving dinner (more here). This year, instead of three at a restaurant, our Thanksgiving celebration was just two at a restaurant. For many others, I’m sure the difference in your celebrations was as stark as day and night. On Facebook alone, I see my “friends” celebrating the holiday with just members of their households or others being creative with well-spaced tables. The change from 2019 to 2020 just goes to show that we really can’t take anything for granted.
When we predict the future, often we consider what has happened in the past and what is currently going on in the present to extrapolate what is to come. This reasoning is logical, however, 2020 has shown us that anything can happen! For this reason, it is important to live in the present, because, while we can guess what the future will hold, we can never be too sure.
On this Thanksgiving in 2020, I took the time to scroll through my pictures and think about all of the things that I am grateful for. There is the obvious (family, friends, health, education, livelihood, etc.) and then there is the frivolous (my iPhone, ability to travel, laptop, WiFi, library card, jars of peanut butter, etc.). So many beautiful and ugly things happened to me between Thanksgiving 2019 and today. And, while things are not “the best” right now, they are pretty darn adequate all things considered. On Thanksgiving evening alone, I was thankful for Boston’s transportation system, which made it easy to visit the restaurant and return home without a hassle and for under $5; I was thankful for restaurants that are still operating in accordance with social distancing policies; I was thankful for everyone I passed who was working that evening even though it was a holiday; I was thankful for the wine that was clearly over-priced, the salmon and asparagus that was accompanied by the most perfect sauce, the pecan pie that was mouthwateringly rich and too fancy for the holiday; I was thankful for the weather, which was dry, not too cold and not too windy; I was thankful for all of the things that I mentioned earlier in this post; I was thankful for my boyfriend for just existing and associating himself with me; I was thankful for you, dear Reader, because you listen and understand; and lastly, I was thankful for myself, because I really wouldn’t want to be anyone else in the entire world.
Because we have endured Thanksgiving 2020, we are hoping for, nay expecting, a return to normal for Thanksgiving 2021. This, of course, is not guaranteed! For this reason, I am trying my best to live in the moment. I had a burst of energy and clarity this morning so I drafted a final essay for one of my grad school classes. The high today was 55 degrees (in Boston in late November!), so I went outside and rode my bike. I used to be a planner (and I still very much am), but I am doing my best to live in the moment. At the end of the day, that’s all life is, a collection of little “presents” (not “futures,” not “pasts”).
I hope you had a very nice Thanksgiving, dear Reader. I hope you were not too lonely. I hope if you are ever lonely you will reach out to others. All in all, I hope you have the pleasure of living in a beautiful “now” (even if that “now” also happens to be in 2020).