Finding the Good Among the Bad: Things to Be Grateful for in 2020


2020, the year where memes depict images of exhaustion and joke about 2021 not coming fast enough. There hasn’t been much of which to be grateful. News outlets seem to report one bad thing after another, including hurricanes, fires, federal debt, the presidential election, and the current issue deep-rooted into everyone’s brains, COVID-19.

The world was thrown for a loop when in a matter of weeks, we were expected to suddenly keep our distance, wear masks (if you could find them), stock up on hand sanitizer, and avoid family and friends outside your immediate household. Weddings were canceled. Jobs were lost. Kids were suddenly expected to learn from home and parents became teachers overnight. Toilet paper was nowhere to be found.

Needless to say, 2020 may not have been the greatest year of anyone’s lives. But there has to have been some good in the midst of the madness, right?


The thing I’ve been most grateful for has been being home with my daughter for her first year. She was in daycare nine days before the shutdown, so I became a full-time working mom to a 6-month-old overnight. Do not get me wrong: It was hard. Between her nap schedule, the never-ending Zoom meetings, client phone calls, and simply trying to work at the kitchen table instead of my office, I was mentally and physically drained more at the end of the day than when I would work and go pick her up at daycare.

Now that’s she back in daycare part-time, I can reflect on our days here together and know how fortunate I have been to work in a job I love and still have been able to witness all her firsts.

When it comes to finding things to be grateful for this year, let’s talk about the community coming together at the beginning of the pandemic. In our area, volunteers went grocery shopping for seniors or immunocompromised individuals who were not comfortable leaving their house. Individuals stepped up to foster cats and dogs because they were home more and needed company, which worked out since those animals needed homes. Teachers went out of their way to make students feel comfortable through car parades in their neighborhoods, therefore showing their love for kids goes beyond academia.

The holidays may look different this year than in the past.

Social distancing is still recommended and out-of-town visitation is discouraged, therefore limiting the time that people can spend together. However, the silver lining: for all its faults, technology is a blessing to be thankful for this year. With the advances in phones and computers, family dinners don’t have to stop and grandchildren can still see their grandparents on a regular basis. It is not the same as in-person, but it certainly is the next best thing,

Lastly, I am grateful for the time to unwind. Despite the circumstances, 2020 has granted individuals time at home more, resulting in discovering new hobbies, increased learning, more family time, and home projects finally being completed.

Things are hard right now, there is no doubt. However, if we’re going to get through this new toilet-paper-less, socially-distant normal, we must remember to look for and find the good amidst the turmoil.