I was thinking of proposing to my family that we each come up with an image for New Year’s Day of how we will dispose of 2020. I imagined blowing up a very big balloon, writing 2020 on it with black magic marker, and popping it. Bang! Then I read a column in today’s paper: silver linings from 2020. One person talked about being able to spend time with her elderly dachshund, another being there to see his one-year-old take his first steps, another how pet adoptions are up. I rebel against constantly having to be a glass half full person but I also know how important it is to practice gratitude.
There certainly are things I’m thankful for in 2020. Without the pandemic, I think we would have had four more years of Trump. I have learned new ways of teaching and connecting with students. In the physical absence of our children, I am more aware of how those bonds are the bone and sinew of our life, and I am newly thankful for the constant presence of my husband of 47 years. I appreciate how essential my friends are.
OK, but there is something artificial and unhealthy about totally suppressing the negative, too. So, glass half empty? I will just say one thing: we have to leave our 93-year-old mother’s Christmas presents at the door and can’t even give her a hug on Christmas. Now can I blow up that balloon?