I Am Not Grateful for Covid-19 and You Don’t Have to Be Either
I am grateful *despite* it, and it makes all the difference
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” — Melody Beattie
Come on, really?
Gratitude is a highly popular topic all year round but it emerges around Thanksgiving like a geyser, seeping into everything from productivity to parenting, from mental health to mundane life choices. It is undoubtedly a great way to appreciate what we have instead of focusing on what we want to have and don’t.
As a non-American citizen, I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving because it’s not in my culture. We don’t eat turkey, we don’t do family gatherings, we don’t go down on a spiritual journey trying to find the good in our lives here where I live. For us, Thanksgiving doesn’t mean anything but another day of the year and I always had doubts about this as a holiday.
This year, I had an even more than usual controversial feeling about Thanksgiving, as the external circumstances make it really difficult to be grateful for the life we currently have to lead. I read articles about how people are complaining — in the name of Thanksgiving — about not seeing their families, about not being able to stick to their usual holiday rituals, about Thanksgiving being just another screwed up day when you put on even more weight from emotional eating.
On the other hand, I saw articles that suggested to use this opportunity to be even more grateful than usual, to continue or start a gratitude practice, to give thanks for the opportunities and possibilities that you still have.
Ever since the world came to an abrupt stop in March, I have been trying to figure out how to be grateful for the life I currently have. I was trying to make sense of the restrictions, I was trying to be happy about spending more time with my kids and more time on my own, I was trying to catch up with the things I never had time for in the pre-pandemic accelerated world. I was desperately trying to find the silver lining of these events — and I have to admit, I have had a really hard time doing so.