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Written by: Stephanie Glennon
No gratitude list can start any way but with ‘health’ this year. With virus cases on the upswing (again) and the colder months approaching, everyone is on edge about how stay healthy, and how to keep others healthy as well. Not far from our minds here at Dapper Boi are the frontline workers, many of whom are still overwhelmed and still putting themselves at considerable risk; and those who are not as fortunate as some of us. After going on eight months of constant reporting, updates, number tolls and social distancing, it’s easy to get a little numb to it all. Sometime, you might find yourself nearly forgetting there’s a pandemic, since it’s become such an every-day part of your life. That’s alright. That’s almost necessary. Humans are built to adapt, after all, and situations like this are how we’ve remained the dominant species on the planet for so long. However, in those moments of gratitude for your wellbeing, or in the moments where the anxiety caused by the pandemic has sunk to a background buzz, it’s important to keep those who are ill from this disease centered in your mind. They need all the help they can get, and it’s alright to hold those two feelings together - gratitude and deep grief for those in a different situation than yourself. It doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you a human.
Another complicated emotional chestnut to unpack is that of the political season. Regardless of what side of the aisle you find yourself on, regardless of your beliefs and political leaning, it’s important to remember that the very act that we have multiple sides to be on is an incredible, and incredibly rare gift. There are people who are burned out on politics - we don’t blame you! - but even being burned out means that there’s a choice of engagement. That’s a choice many people all around the world don’t have. Whether the country is ruled by a cruel leader, or rights are denied to everyone but a select few, or even if the system is set up so that the citizens don’t have much to do with the politics, there are millions of people all over the world who would do anything to get to be apathetic. And for those that aren’t apathetic - for those here that care so deeply and so intensely about what you believe - remember to take a moment in the midst of the fight for whatever you believe is right to appreciate the fact that you can fight at all, and that there’s another side to fight against. Lots of people are guilty of thinking that if only their ‘side’ was the only ‘side’, everything would be better - but that’s probably not entirely true. We’re made better as people and as a nation by the fact that there’s always going to be someone who disagrees with whatever the popular opinion is; it ensures that the result is as strong as it can possibly be.
The subject of money and of work is very fraught right now. It’s all too easy to focus on the lack - especially if you’re one of the millions of people who are out of a job with everything else going on right now. It can be hard to find a silver lining there, and we’re the last people who would ever try to convince you that what you feel isn’t exactly what you should be feeling. Still, if you’re fortunate enough to have an income - however you may earn it - there’s an immense need to be grateful for that. If you don’t, there’s plenty still to be thankful for, especially given how may positive, supportive, uplifting stories have come out over the past few months. If it’s not restaurants offering free meals to kids while schools are closed, it’s a community banding together to save its local small businesses. If it’s not that, it’s something else, or something else, or something else. The most wonderful, magical thing about human beings is that we have the ability to recognize when something is bad, and then take action to fix it. Even if it’s not on that scale; if someone has taken the time to check in with you, or you were able to support someone else...the possibilities for goodness are still there, even in the most hopeless of moments.
It can be easy to focus on these big, new, scary challenges. To get caught up in them and the ripple effects these things have or may have on your life. The fact of the matter is, though, that if you’re breathing easy; if you have a roof over your head; if you have food on the table; if you have someone around who loves you and that you love in return...there are so many more things to be glad for than there are to be miserable about. Nothing is that simple - would that it were - but especially now, it’s important to find joy in the little things, wherever and whenever you can.
Whether it’s a bird singing outside your window, or the beauty of the leaves changing colors, or the smell of your first cup of coffee in the morning, or the comfort of snuggling under your favorite blanket, there’s joy to be found. If it’s listening to your favorite song, if it’s snuggling with your favorite pet, if it’s letting your favorite person know that they’re your favorite person, there’s something to be grateful for. If it’s hearing about the generosity of strangers, or the work that’s going on all over the country - the world, even - to make the life we’re all trying to live better, there are so many reasons to be thankful.
We’re thankful, grateful, and more than anything, so lucky to have you with us. You, in particular, reading this blog. You’re alive, and you’re here, and we are so glad for both of those things.
And we always will be.