“We are not defined by our circumstances and we can always find a way to rise above it. “( Ashleigh Murray)
As the daily ravages of the Corona pandemic take their toll, I observe from my morning newspaper reading that over 30,000 humans died from this disease in the United States during the twenty four hour period of yesterday. That gruesome number shockingly tops the number who perished from the terrorist attack occurring on 9/11 and the opening day of the Normandy D- Day invasion during World War II. In the political arena, our current President has refused to concede that Joe Biden won the 2020 Presidential election. Meanwhile he deceives his cultish followers with frivolous law suits and self serving tweets while the country remains on edge and desperately needs some executive leadership in this time of escalating Corona crisis. On the economic front, it’s estimated that over thirty three million people in America have already filed for public unemployment benefits this year as as our country recedes into a deepening, Corona infested recession.
There’s little doubt then that 2020 as a whole can be most accurately summarized in troubling terms amid such deeply catastrophic crises. Yet I appear to be one of the lucky ones who remains reasonably healthy, happy with Biden’s win, and fortunate to possess a decent teaching pension to ward off any financial ills. So it seems only logical today for me to give thanks to what has mor specifically gone right for me this year. Thus I present my 2020 list of gratitude statements below with accompanying photographs to illustrate what seemed to have helped me best “rise above the fray.” So in this spirit of optimism provided in each of these images, I hope you can reflect as well how your own glass remains more “half full” than “ half empty” as you consider your own tally of remembrances from this profoundly stressful past year.
- Democracy in America remained intact as I recall the thrilling moment when CNN and other media outlets declared that Donald Trump had been defeated in the 2020 Presidential election. New laws to protect not hinder personal freedoms and citizenships rights would now be anticipated by this newly enlightened American citizen.
- As a loyal Cleveland Browns fan, I experienced great joy as my team compiled a 9-3 win/loss record in the National Football league this year, signifying their best record since 1994. Every day I also savor the thought that they appear to be playoff bound and finally worthy of respect in the sports world.
- The simple matter of purchasing a Huffy bicycle at Walmart enabled me to release my negative emotions of being cooped up in my condominium because of the Corona pandemic. Those weekday rides amid open air settings of silent solitude also filled me with youth-like enthusiasm when I I return home.
- Although pandemic concerns have “put on hold” the feasibility of cruise/airline travel, Ruth and I enjoyed two, cross country road trips westward from South Florida this year. I particularly recall those spectacular hikes in various National parks as well as getting a rare look at the colorful foliage of seasonal autumn change in Steamboat Springs, Colorado
- Close companionships can inevitably “come and go”. Yet amid the Corona crisis, we managed to solidify long – standing friendship bondings with minimal health risk during faraway visits to Colorado, Nebraska, California, and Ohio.
- Enjoying good times together and non-competitive communication amid those prolonged periods of social isolation helped to sustain a successful marriage this past year with Ruth as the Corona crisis deepened.
- Our peanut feedings of blue jays and squirrels outside our South Florida condo front door provided entertaining moments to better endure the morning routine.
- My alternative health commitment to the practice of yoga and openness to add useful nutritional supplements like Turmeric made a positive impact on my immune system. Registered lower blood pressure, and normal blood test results throughout he year further exemplified my 2020 health stability.
- I pay great homage to the solitude on those long drives that my 2018 Honda CRV Sports Utility vehicle provided me as my XM satellite radio access this year warded off the barrage of outside traffic noise and stressful AM/FM commercials.
- The deepening climate crisis had been no stranger to this “traveling fool” in the course of our road trip travels in 2020. Fortunately, I safely endured floods along the Mississippi River region, wildfires in Central Colorado, drought in California, and bitter cold in the American Midwest.
- After six months of lockout from visiting my mother in her “Independent” Living facility, I fortunately resumed visits to her apartment in November. Spending precious “ quality time” with her now meant more to me for sure. Those caring nurses and aides who have so dutifully attended to her physical and emotional needs this year during the lockout could be commended as well.
- A second trip to India in March provided a much needed boost to my spiritual aura as I observed everyday rituals of Hinduism and Buddhism there.
- Amid those solitary times created by the Corona crisis, I rediscovered the art of playing chess again as a mental diversion from premeditated loneliness.
- As we ate a casual lunch in Key West during mid November, I experienced my first live music concert in over six months. What a thrill to sit less than ten feet from the main stage as classic jazz and rock music favorites filled the air.
- As 2020 ended , I now engaged with my 683 Word Press followers while my 7400 blog view accumulations represent a 40% growth from last year.
It has been an incredible year for the entire planet. COVID has given all of us a chance to reflect on many things. I hope all come out of this new normal enlightened and learn to appreciate what they have and can reflect and make better choices of what we need and how we care for others.
Exceptional comment Ruth