Gratitude on the Pandemiversary

Let’s face it, it's been a tough year. Hardly a day goes by without reminiscing about brighter days “remember when we were traveling” or “remember when we were with family.” It can be easy to forget all of the small wins that have carried us through this deeply distressing, chaotic and frankly sad time. I am going to use this moment as an exercise, to reflect on those small wins and be thankful for every moment. I hope that you, dear reader, will join me in this and reflect too.

  1. 1. Health & Safety

    Prior to the pandemic I never really worried about the health of my family and friends, which is admittedly a very privileged position to be in. During the pandemic, I have been worrying about everyone, and taking a lot of precautions. It's been almost a year and a half since I have seen my Abuela. I am beyond thankful that everyone has been okay, and six of my eight closest family members have been vaccinated already. Knowing how unstable and unsure things were and still are, everyday is a gift.  

  2. 2. Family Time

    I have spent more time with my parents than when I was in high school, and since moving to Chicago in November have been able to spend more time with my boyfriend and his family. Being able to lean on this network in a time of chaos has been invaluable and their companionship and humor irreplaceable.

  3. 3. Cooking & an Improved Relationship with Food 

    Cooking has always been an outlet for me, and this year I have learned to make my favorites: homemade bao buns, chutneys and jams, pad thai, carrot ginger soup and more. Connecting with the ingredients, and allowing myself to cook without any conditions: for someone else, for a party, for a potluck, just because I wanted to cook has been so freeing. My perspective on food has also shifted, seeing dishes as adventures instead of “good” or “bad” fuel. 

  4. 4. Crocheting 

    There were a lot of days this year that I felt really boring and old sitting around my house. Learning to crochet made me way less bored, and brought up my youthful spirits —despite the grandma-ish connotations. I learned that I really like working with my hands, and that I can learn anything I set my mind to.

  5. 5. Walking

    Prior to the pandemic walking for me was simply a mode of transportation. Walk to the bus, or the coffee shop, never just walk to walk. Taking a daily walk has been a lifeline for me. I am thankful that I can take these walks, and that I have safe streets around me.