Giving thanks in a year that just keeps getting better

Alyson Furstenau ‘21, Photo Editor

As we approach Thanksgiving in the year 2020, it may be difficult to think of things to be grateful for. After all, we have experienced the tragic death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, a global pandemic that has killed over one million people, violent attacks against the African American race, an invasion of killer hornets, and a debacle of an election—all in less than 12 months. What good has happened? What do we even have to be thankful for this year? 

Yes, this year has been an endless chain of negative events, but let us recognize the good that 2020 has brought us. 

Many can agree that this year has forced us to slow down and focus on what is really important in our lives, whether that be mental and physical health, family, communication, spirituality, etc. The hustle and bustle of our everyday routine leaves little time to appreciate all that we have, and 2020 gave us the opportunity to acknowledge what we often take for granted. 

Family and Friends

Being stuck inside the house with family for months on end may not seem like something to be grateful for. In this time of social distancing, however, it has been more important than ever to look out for the health and safety of friends and family members. Spending time with family is something to be thankful for as busy schedules rarely allow for families to all be together. Senior Lacey Smith said, “My two older sisters have become my best friends over the past few months. Getting time to spend with them has improved our relationship so much, and I don’t know what I would do without them.” 

Strength

It is during the periods of struggle especially when some people look to their faith for stability and the courage to move forward. Mrs. Katee Buddenborg, head coach of the South Lyon Varsity Pom team, said, “I am grateful for the strength that God has given me during these troubling times.” Religion is not a part of everyone’s lives, but if there is anything to take away from the year 2020, it is that this year has made us stronger in one way or another. From 2020 and beyond, it is important to recognize struggles as opportunities for growth. 

Health

Perhaps quarantine was a chance to focus on mental and physical health. Health is so monumentally important, yet we rarely take the time to appreciate the health of ourselves and others. Taking the time to do things that make us feel good not only improves our mental health, but our ability to stay motivated as well. Junior Jenna Chaffin said, “Besides binge watching Netflix, I wanted to make it my goal to use quarantine as a time to try new things! Because of this, I started going on morning runs, as well as doing a lot of cooking and baking with my family!”

The hope is that after the conflicts of this year subside, our society can better appreciate the privileges we do have. 2020 does not have to be seen as the year when everything went wrong. Instead, it can be seen as the year when we became better versions of ourselves.

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