Hi friends and family, how are you? I’m sorry it’s been a while.
Anytime I take a hiatus from writing my weekly blogs, I feel a need to apologize for it or offer you some sort of explanation. Well, today I don’t really feel like apologizing, because I’m working on not apologizing as much. But I can still offer you a small explanation. About a month ago I was promoted to a full-time position with the company I used to freelance write for. So you see, I spend about 30-40 hours of my week writing now for work and I’ll admit, it’s been tricky finding the time to keep writing for fun. It’s a balancing act, and I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it sooner or later.
The other reason why I haven’t written much lately, is because I haven’t really been able to figure out what I want to say. I’ll get a little inspiration, but then what I’m trying to say just comes out as false or convoluted or hollow. The holidays are such a special time with magic and memories in the air, I feel a lot of pressure to live up to the hype of the season.
Thanksgiving came and went, and all I wanted to do was to write a post about how grateful I feel for this year with its highs and many lows. But that felt out of touch somehow. Then I tried to write about how not everyone is feeling thankful during this Covid season, but that felt off-brand when I’m trying to write a blog about joy and gratitude. So basically, I ended up feeling paralyzed, and I couldn’t write anything at all.
So here we are two weeks post-Thanksgiving, and I think I finally may be able to string a few thoughts together.
I’ve been thinking about the special people in my life more and more lately, because we’re getting into the heart of the holiday season. And listen, I absolutely love the holidays. They are truly the best time of the year. I always say that I just love love. And what screams love more than Thanksgiving and Christmas?? And after the crazy 2020 we’ve all had, I think we get to celebrate the special people in our lives even more than ever this season.
Strap in, because I’m going to get cheesy Hallmark movie-y for a hot minute. But Christmas really is all about celebrating special relationships. It’s about prioritizing the people that mean so much to you. It’s about lifting up others and spending your time with the individuals who make everything bright and sparkly. It’s about taking the time to look your family and friends in the eye and say “you matter to me a whole bunch. Without you, I don’t know who I’d be. Words will never explain how special you are to me, but here’s a gift, some quality time, and great memories to try and express my gratitude.”
Okay, Hallmark moment over, because I’m actually tearing up thinking about saying those words to all my favorite people in the world. Get it together, Amanda.
Anyway, I’d say 2020 specifically has been a year of prioritizing and evaluating who matters most in your life. Think about it. When we were told we could only have ten people in our “Covid-bubble,” you better make sure those 10 people are awesome. Or when digital platforms became more common to reach out to people remotely, it became evident who you really wanted to connect with. Or when you were unexpectedly stuck at home with only your family, you had time to reconnect and enjoy precious moments that we don’t always get during out busy lives. Or when you hear about people around the globe losing their loved ones, you feel that immense gratitude that yours are still here.
I think in 2020 has been a year where we’ve all stopped taking each other for granted.
Face it, we’ve needed each other this year. We’ve needed companionship and company to get through tough times. We’ve needed friends to tell us it’s going to be okay when we lost our jobs or weren’t sure how to make ends meet. We’ve needed people to distract us from our anxiety and to help us fight for the things we believe in. We’ve needed our close confidents to help push us to keep going even when it felt hopeless.
We’ve needed each other.
We’ve needed each other, and we’ve also shown up for each other.
Any time I’ve had a bad day in the past few months, I sent out a bat signal to my closest friends who immediately responded with an “are you okay?” I was on the verge of having a panic attack the other day and a friend of mine offered to step out of his office to call me to calm me down. I mean, who does that? I told my mom I may need to defer on a few of my car payments when things were a little tight financially and she offered me a loan no questions asked. I got to breathe a sigh of relief. And I was talking with some of my coworkers about how I’m moving this weekend and a few people were right there asking if I needed any help. I’ve been working with these people for maybe three months, and they offer to help no questions asked.
I don’t even know how to express gratitude for such selfless gestures like that.
Maybe that’s why I had such trouble writing a Thanksgiving blog post. Cause really, I’m not sure I have the words. I’m not sure I even know how to process the amazing kindness and togetherness I’ve experienced in a year full of fear, anxiety, and division. Of course, I’ve seen moments of selfishness and hatred this year as well, but when I look at my own life and the people in it, I see kindness. I see empathy and compassion. I see people who are determined to make their corner of the world as bright as it can be for as long as it can be for anyone who needs to make a home there.
So thank you to everyone for giving me a home. Whether it was with your companionship, your support, your laughter, or your love. Thank you.
I hope everyone in the world has at least one person or a group of individuals who make you feel seen. I hope you have people who would drop everything to come and help you. I hope you feel full even when your pockets feel empty because you have amazing people in your life that make it worth living. And I hope you get a chance to tell those people how much they mean to you.
Every year around this time, I like to do my annual re-watching of It’s A Wonderful Life. And you can already see where this is going, but we’re going there anyway. The ending of that movie never fails to make me absolutely bawl. If you haven’t seen it, I humbly request you stop reading right now, turn on Netflix, and then after you’ve seen the whole thing you can finish the rest of this post.
Did you do it?
But the end of that movie is just so damn powerful. Because here is a man who has spent his whole life doing everything for everyone else. He sacrificed so many of his dreams so others could thrive. And the second he was in trouble, everyone came running. They heard “George is in trouble” and they came running.
I feel like this has been a year where we’ve all had ups and downs. We’ve all had moments of desperation. We’ve all had moments of “I’m in trouble, please come help me.” And just like they did for George Bailey, people came running.
Doesn't that just warm your heart? You're special enough and you matter enough that people came running. Whatever else is going on, remember how incredible that is.
So I’ll leave you with this, with the penultimate quote from It’s a Wonderful Life. Because I think it’s something we all need to be reminded of every once in a while, especially in this weird Covid time. “Remember this -- no man is a failure who has friends.”
Hug your friends tonight. Thank them for supporting you and remind them that you’re there to return the favor. When you focus on the good and the blessings of your most special relationships, you’ll be amazed at how full your life always seems to be.