November. The 11th month of the longest year of all of our lives, but we made it. We are 2 days out from election day…I’m not going to touch that one, except to tell you to GO VOTE. Who would have thought that when the clock struck 12 on January 1st of this year, this is where would be. I know I was expecting great things for this year. It isn’t over, so there is a possibility that those great things can happen in the next 60 days. I haven’t given up hope that something good is waiting somewhere in the dark corners of this year. I never expected to be homeschooling my 6 year old, having my senior go through her final year distance learning, looking head on at a second wave of a pandemic, nationwide protests, a severely detrimental election on so many levels, and just plain exhausted. If you feel exhausted, that is perfectly fine. If you are over this year, that is ok too. If you are putting up your Christmas tree, with your Halloween decorations still up, and Thanksgiving/Fall decorations mixed in…that is fine as well. Guess what? We have all had one hell of a year at this point. Doctor’s are saying stay away from big family gatherings this holiday season to lower the spread, so the holiday’s are looking a lot like a Zoom meeting. Upside, less cooking for me, downside, no family game nights.
Although we do have some limitations because we are still going through the scourge of 2020, it is possible to make it a November to remember. First of all, let us remember that we must be thankful we are still present and accounted for. If you don’t believe in Covid, I’m ok with that, that is your choice. However, I have several family members that didn’t make it home once they contracted it. One of my good friends just lost her ex and her daughter’s father to complications from Covid. Whatever you believe, be grateful that you made it this far this year. Are you gainfully employed? Be thankful. There are millions of people who lost their jobs and businesses this year and still haven’t found an alternative. Do you have a roof over your head? If so, that is another reason for you to be thankful. What I’m saying is, we tend to take things for granted when we should be thankful for the basic necessities we have in life because so many people have lost those comforts this year. As I watched the news Friday what I say was saddening and maddening at the same time. Families, disabled veterans, elderly people all being evicted from their homes because they couldn’t pay their rent. Homeless in a pandemic. Homeless in the coming winter, homeless for the first time in their lives. It was a sobering thing to watch, but just knowing that our government – who couldn’t reach a consensus to keep these people protected from evictions, but would stay in town long enough to vote in a new Supreme Court Justice was a kick in the teeth to me. It was a middle finger if you will to their constituents who now find themselves without a roof over their head. So I ask that you think of these people when you are comfortable at home tonight with a hot supper and a roof over your head. Consider a donation to your local food bank or Salvation Army. When you want to complain, think about how bad it really could be and say, “I am grateful for everything…even the bad.”
I am guilty of complaints and not being grateful this year. I have learned that you cannot truly appreciate the good without accepting the unfortunate things that life throws at you. I can’t say enough how tough this year has been for us, and how things continued their roller coaster ride throughout the year. I wanted to give up, keep complaining, and throw in the towel on several occasions. However, when I see the suffering of others, knowing that at any moment – that could be me or someone I love, my thankful and grateful heart reappears and lets me know, be better, do better, because you know better. We have to stop being so closed minded to the thoughts and challenges of others. We have to start being more respectful of the people around us, who we come in contact with – in person and on social media. How do you make this a November to remember? Show your gratitude to someone, say thank you for something small, and do something kind for someone without expecting something in return. Let’s get back to being decent human beings and show that we are capable of love, compassion, and common human decency.