The new year usually starts with resolutions but I prefer to start my year with gratitude for the year gone by. As the past two years have been particularly tough for the world at large, it is good to be grateful for what we have.
A simple definition of gratitude that comes from psychology research is “a social emotion that signals our recognition of the things others have done for us”. This is so true and something I try to live by. The word Thank You has it’s limitations and ever so often we hear that a Thank you is not necessary between friends and family. However, I feel showing our gratitude should be second nature to us, even if it is to say just a Thank you.
On a personal level I am grateful for many things in 2021. The year started with the hope that life was going to get back to ‘normal’. Tentatively I went on a road trip with three of my childhood friends- testing the waters of travel, so to speak. This lead to another trip with a larger group. Both these were filled with lots of fun, giggles and believing we were back in high school. Plans were being made for a larger class reunion and hoping for a holiday in the perfect party destination. Friends from out of town started to visit Bangalore again and my favourite chai-sessions resumed. We really though the worst was over.
I am so glad we got those few months of relief because before we realised it, things got worse and bang! I was hit, too! And this is where my gratitude kicks in big time- I was lucky enough not to need a hospital bed, to have a room to my self, to have family from far and wide rally around, to get me a doctor on call, medicines in the middle of curfews, being fed, blood tests at home, making sure I ate and stayed hydrated and just so much more. To have friends checking in on me despite being ill themselves. I am truly grateful to be the lucky one.
The months after that were equally tough, cause little did I realise I got Long Covid. Something that has persisted for months. Tiredness, brain fog, continued loss of smell are some of the effects I have endured. I never knew that even the excitement of meeting friends could cause such exhaustion. I had to learn to slow down and make choices for what I would do each day. But in all this, I acknowledge that I was the lucky one!
In the last few months of the year meet ups and day trips with friends made us feel some normalcy return to our lives. I am thankful the year ended with family and friends around us, celebrating the season with much love and happiness. This despite the new variant hanging over our heads!
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” Ralph Waldo Emerson. I am deeply appreciative for my family- biological, marital and acquired. They make me who I am and keep me standing and walking.