Wednesday, March 17, 2021

11 Things I Never Thought I'd Be Grateful For


[Our perfect pandmic puppy, Zeus]

Tonight I'm going out with friends. After the last year, that seems so incredibly odd to say. However, our local zoo is putting on a social distanced event for St. Patrick's Day. My friends and I are going to put our green masks on, grab a green beer, and walk around the zoo looking at the animals like adults do. I haven't seen these friends for months. We aren't ready for indoor gatherings yet, so our harsh winter has kept us separated. To say I'm thrilled to spend a couple of hours (even in the rain!) with them is an understatement. 

After the last year, there are things I never thought I'd be thankful for. Yet, here we are in 2021, when I'm still thrilled to see store shelves at the grocery store full instead of empty. 2020 did a number on everyone, but it definitely showed us/me how privileged our lives are and that we have so much to be grateful for. I could write a book on it all (and maybe I will), but for now, I narrowed it down to my top 11.

1.) Toilet paper. The fact that I can walk into a store and have my pick of tp, still leaves me thrilled. Luckily, our family never experienced going without toilet paper, but we were met with plenty of empty shelves of tp for months there. I will never take for granted soft tp on my ass again.

2.) NO rationing of canned goods, breads, or meats at the store. I seriously worried there for a few weeks in 2020 how I was going to properly feed my family of five or my daycare. Luckily, I didn't have many daycare kids through the thick of this issue and my husband was a rock star, going to various stores throughout the week so we could get the groceries we needed. 

3.) Messy buns. I've been thankful for these for a looonnnggg time, but they became the "cool" hairstyle. I'm now a cool girl, I guess.

4.) Pandemic puppies. I was hopping on the puppy bandwagon in June 2020 despite the pandemic, but our pandemic pup Zeus has been a highlight for us. I haven't had to look far for support about another chewed up chair leg. Half of my mommy groups have turned into dog mom groups!

5.) Not saying "you're in my bubble" to anyone for a solid year. My husband, children, and pandmic pup don't count in this, obviously, because they haven't heard of this things called space for mom. But, I haven't had to uncomfortably step away from someone in public because I haven't been in public for a year! Along the same line, I haven't been pissed off by other people exsisting because I haven't seen other people. 

6.) To Go Alcohol. One of my favorite things to happen in 2020. I can get take out and a drink that I don't have to make and slap the label "supporting local restaurants" on it. It's grand.

7.) Grocery and food delivery services. At the beginning of the pandemic, all of our grocery delivery and pick up services were slammed and we couldn't get a slot anywhere. With food rationing and no grocery delivery services available for us, getting groceries was a stressful event. As mentioned above, my husband was amazing through all of it. He was labeled an essential worker and had to go out into the world. The kids and I were secluded at home, so I could keep daycare open and safe. Because of this, my husband did all of our grocery shopping for us for TWO solid months. On top of working extra hours. I will never again take for granted all of the times (at least two times a week), I'm able to open up our grocery app and have our groceries at our door or picked up within hours.

8.) Venmo and cash apps. Our bank was closed for an extended period of time. I was grateful to have my daycare families pay me via Venmo or other cash apps, so I didn't have to worry about making deposits or any banking issues.

9.) Zoom, Teams, Google Hangouts. All of those that have kept us connected to our family and friends. We still haven't seen them in person very much, but have been able to meet for virtual drinks and talks

10.) Vaccinations and Science. I'm smart enough to appreciate them and getting back to some semblance of a normal life.

11.) Businesses with curbside pick up. We've kept our bubbles as small as possible for the sake of our jobs. We're lucky because we have had very little disruption to our jobs (and just a small one to our income). This was made possible by all of those businesses, both big and small, who made curbside pick ups a thing. I have only stepped foot into a store/business a dozen times since last March, but have kept up my spending habits just fine because of online shopping and curbside pick ups.