A few months after the pandemic hit America I began to see many jokes and memes and feel a general sentiment from friends and family about how much 2020 sucked. While indulging friends while they did this, I never really got on board.
With a shoulder surgery in January to fix a shoulder that continued to dislocate, the pandemic putting an end to all of 2020’s travel plans, and then closing out the year with a serious injury (ruptured quad) that required a second surgery in 2020, you would think I would be all about jumping on the train of dissing 2020.
This is a state of mind I refused to enter. I lived 2020 by being grateful every day. Almost every day, I begin a journal entry with 2-4 things that I was grateful for about that day. It has produced genuine happiness.
I am grateful for knowing and getting to roll with someone (spar in jiu jitsu) who is an orthopedic surgeon. Someone who, after examining my shoulder, saw that he could fix it so that I would stop suffering the dislocations. I am grateful that I was able to get through the surgery and physical therapy, and to come back strong in the gym. I am grateful for now, having overcome that obstacle, the knowledge that I have the ability to overcome these types of obstacles.
I am grateful that when the pandemic hit America I was not in a state to do much traveling and socially working out anyway. I was on the mend. I am grateful that during the limited travel that did happen this year, that it was the circumstances of the pandemic and work from home orders that provided the insight and perspective to pursue what matters most in life now rather than waiting for some future undefined time that may never come because of the lack of definition.
I am grateful that the American people legitimately voted out the worst president this country will hopefully ever have to lay claim to.
As Wonder Woman 1984 hit theaters on Christmas this year, I am grateful for my very own Wonder Woman. When I suddenly ruptured a quad on the evening before having to move a lot of stuff 7 hours away, she didn’t balk. She stepped up to the task, invited a friend to help her with the big stuff I could no longer help with and did the rest by herself. Now, after being fixed by surgery again, I am grateful for that same Wonder Woman who had to miss out on a lot of sleep to get me through one of the most painful nights of my life. Sometimes, a path through pain can lead to a greater relationship bond.
None of us will ever forget 2020. Many, many, years from now, we’ll still be talking about this year. The struggles gave us stories. The suffering gave us meaning.