Healthy Thanksgiving banner as a seasonal sign with a turkey tom or gobbler and a hen and each wearing a face mask and surgical facial protection for disease protection with 3D illustration elements.

Rochel Burstyn gives examples of things to be grateful for on Thanksgiving 2020.

Thanksgiving is going to be very different this year, and it’s pretty disappointing. There’s a part of my brain that makes me want to stomp my foot like a little kid and wail, “But I don’t want this.” Meanwhile the grown-up part of my brain is trying to rationalize: “Well, that’s life. Everyone’s in the same boat, so suck it up and stop crying … and here, have a cookie.”

So now the only thing that’s really changed is that I don’t fit into any of my clothes. Unfortunately, the reality is: This stinks! We liked the world better before coronavirus. We liked seeing people smile and we liked hugging people and eating out and not having to be vigilant about washing our hands. We liked going to simchahs and theater and to the gym and learning or working in person. We miss the days when we’d never heard of Zoom, had no idea what PPE stood for, and scoffed at the very idea of ever willingly submitting our nostril so that someone could try to scrape our brains through it with a knitting needle.

But with COVID cases on the rise, and the fear and uncertainty of the unknown yet again on our doorstop, it can be easy to fall into a bottomless pit, like the little kid who can’t see anything other than what he doesn’t have. There are still things to be grateful for these days, we just have to work a little harder to find them. For example:

  • The usual: Family. Friends. Food (especially cookies). Online shopping. Next day delivery. Clothes. A roof over our heads. Frontline workers. Teachers. Heat. Employment. Love. Peace. Joy. Chocolate. Technology. And people who won’t judge me for not listing them in any kind of order …
  • No one really enjoys wearing a mask, but it can be kind of nice not having to worry if your breath smells.
  • There’s something very nurturing about getting your temperature checked — it can conjure warm childhood memories. So yes, it might feel super weird that strangers at the bank or doctor’s offices are checking your temp; but if you’re allowed to venture inside, it means you’ve cleared a health hurdle … And these days that’s nothing to sneeze at.
  • Have you ever stepped inside someone’s house and been told, “Please excuse my mess,” but, as far as you can see, it’s perfectly tidy, kind of intimidatingly perfect and a far cry from your own “lived-in” look? Well, the good news is, thanks to social distancing, those people aren’t coming over to my place any time soon.
  • Super grateful that the elections are behind us (even though it doesn’t really feel that way). I’m grateful that all those texts, calls and pounds of junk mail telling me and all the previous home owners who to vote for have stopped.
  • The cold — it has some perks. Now it’s I-can-drink-the-water-I-left-in-the-car-overnight season!
  • While things keep changing, and the unknown is scary … at least we’re still here, and at least we’re not turkeys!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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