corona diaries year summaries

12 blessings + 12 months: A (pandemic) Thanksgiving tradition

22 Nov 2020

It’s time to kick off the holiday season with my annual 12 months + 12 blessings summary. Of course, this time it’s 2020 style = the pandemic edition. I know, it seems a bit daunting to think about the past 12 months and to find 12 blessings, right? I mean, with this chaotic + crazy year that we’ve had, we’ve all been faced with challenge after challenge. And, of course, it just doesn’t stop.

We’re all longing for 2021 I think. I know I am. But, really, the fact that it’s been such a tough + completely topsy turvy year, makes it even more important to slow down for a moment as the holiday season begins. And while these holidays will look so very different than most, it’s still the holiday season and there are still things for which to be grateful. My bet is that it takes a bit of extra time, some deep soul searching, and an open mind to get some perspective on these past 12 months.

So, that’s what this post is all about. Of course my first reaction when thinking about finding 12 blessings from this year filled with a pandemic, violence, natural disasters, deaths, near-wars, racism, quarantines, isolation, loneliness, changed plans, and sickness around the world, is that this is a near impossible thing to do. But, that’s my first reaction. When I settle down + return to my center, then I can easily see that there is still so much to be thankful for. Even in the midst of this shitty year.

Plus, once of my deepest grounding beliefs is that, in any given situation, there is always a blessing to be unearthed. It is most often very different work, but trusting in the unfolding of life, the rhythm of the seasons, and the cycles of birth-life-death-and rebirth, teach me time and again that all will be well. That blessings abound. And that, even in a pandemic, Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season can be a time of grounding.

So, perhaps more than ever, this year’s 12 blessings are just what I need to anchor me + prepare me for the year to come.

December: Paris, Home (Sweden), North Carolina
January: North Carolina + Home
February: Home + At work
March: Home, At work + Work from Home begins
April: Home
May: Home
June: Home
July: Archipelago, Home, Österlen (summer vacation in Sweden)
August: Home + At work
September: Home + At work
October: Home, At work, Work from home
November: Home + At work

Wow. I am blown away at the blessings that this post reveals to me. As I was gathering the photos for each month, I knew that there would be way more than 12 blessings. But, I had no idea I would end this post feeling so blessed, grateful, and thankful for this past year. Processing + sharing the lessons of 2020 will be a future post as we come to the very end of the year. But, I just have to say now… what I have most gained from 2020, as I look back through these past 12 months since last Thanksgiving, is that it is absolutely the simplest things that have blended me this year.

2020 has stripped me down to my core. It has helped me realize, on a whole different level, that it is the most basic, most grounded + rooted, simplest moments + memories that anchor me + create my life. Family, home, nature, rest, inspiration, slow living, rituals. That’s it. That’s me. That’s all that life is, all that I am grateful for. And, while it is something I have known for years… none of these are new priorities… 2020 has solidified in me, I do believe, the kind of life that I want to live. The kind of life that I am living. And, that brings me a deep sense of peace + gratitude in the midst of a pandemic-ridden, chaotic year.

Happy Thanksgiving, one + all. Whether you celebrate or not. Here’s to letting this holiday season, as strange + different as it may be, give us exactly the perspective, the groundedness, and the hope that we all need.

xoxo. liz.

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