Grateful

Despite this year being unusual and, in turn, seemingly problematic for most, it has been good to me. I don’t want to take away from those who have been unfortunate, suffered, or lost during this strange year. I want to reflect on a year unlike any other for me and be grateful for all I’ve been given. I have never before experienced or achieved all of the wonderful things I have this year, and while hard work is a part of that, it’s not all. Something about this year being unprecedented and putting unusual strains on the world made room for me to find my way in it. 

There must be something more to that, but I’m not sure I can say exactly what yet. Unfortunately for me, next year and those that follow will likely return to normal, be average, and expected. Does this mean that things will go back to being hard, disappointing, and unfortunate for me? Will I struggle day in and day out unhappy and unsuccessful as I have so many years up to this point? What is it about things being normal that doesn’t quite work for me? I can only base my understanding of what I have experienced in the thirty-some-odd years before this one and how pleasantly different this one has been. I’ve been just taking it one day at a time.

I have tried not to boast or celebrate partially out of respect for everyone else and partly out of fear. I was afraid that the universe would catch on that I was aware of how well things were going for me, and it would suddenly all go away. As if the universe would right itself after having realized it had let a great year slip through all of the terrible ones. This superstitious mindset didn’t feel out of the ordinary for me. Still, I was also giddily out of my element with all the positive happening. So I kept quiet, enjoying the rewards I was receiving for what they were and trying not to take the feelings for granted. 

Now that I have experienced both sides of the spectrum and can compare a good year and a bad, I truly have a better understanding of how things are and can be. This doesn’t mean I have all the answers or know how to control it one way or another. Instead, I sit waiting, uncertain if I want next year to come or not. Is this the beginning of a winning streak for me, or will things go back to the way they were?  Has my life just changed in a positive way that I can maintain to some degree for the foreseeable future? I’m trying to really soak it all in as I just don’t know. 

I know that going back to the way things were would be a lot harder, having experienced the other side this year. I also know that if it took a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic for me to have such a good year that another one like this may not be around the corner for me.

So what now? Hide under the sheets clinging to the rewarding year that has been? That seems like it would just lead to bitterness later. Try harder than ever to replicate my successes? Failing those efforts would prove even more detrimental to my psyche as I obviously believe in the power of the universe or luck or whatever this has been. I think instead, I’ll just coast into next year without a thought in my head. I’ll just live in the present without screaming from the rooftops. When tomorrow comes, I’ll be there and see what it’s all about without expectation. I’m going to try to hold on to this strange feeling of straddling life and peacefully understanding that anything can happen at any time. Accepting that all of this is possibly temporary. I think I’m saying that there are really two sides to everything or at least two ways of looking at it.  

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