I Declare 2020 to be the Year of Gratitude

“Take a look back a year ago, what did you cherish most about your life? Is it what you still cherish now? This is the true test of gratefulness.”

Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash.

Is it really over?

It cannot be.

I assure you it actually is even though I too am in disbelief of what happened to many of us throughout this past year.

Feelings and emotions were essential component of what this year brought to us displaying our innermost selves out to the world. I firmly believe feelings and emotions need to be present with each of us and acknowledge when being in the moment and looking onwards.

If you are like me, you are going to sit down tonight with loved ones or by yourself. Either one works. Take time to reflect and possible go through these suggestions to talk, write, sketch, act, sing, dance, or anyway you like to express yourself.

Who do you value in your life currently?

Take inventory in all of your relationships. Give this time to think about who are the individuals that are your ride or die (close friends or family), comfort sweaters (friends or family who are casually in your life), and gentle breeze (acquittances you have on any given day such as neighbors or the cashier at the grocery store you always see).

When you define the relationship you have with them then you are able to put stock into each of them. Which one of those comfort sweaters have given you joy or positive energy? This may want to improve this relationship and move them to a more significant relationship to be a ride or die. Just keep in mind it is difficult to keep a lot of close friends since the investment here is considerable. Do not look to waste your or their time. Be mindful with decisions you create for yourself.

What did you enjoy doing this year that you want to continue onto next year?

Oh yes! I am even excited about the question. Think back to anything you started this year that gives you a sense of belief. Now, this answer can range from starting to meditate each day, trying a new recipe each week, volunteering at a local food bank, or calling someone you care about each day to just check up on them.

The possibilities are endless to answer this question. On the other hand, think about how you would feel if this was no longer present in your life. This follow-up question can perhaps center what does this one thing do for you in particular.

On Medium this past year, I had the pleasure of joining this wonderful community in August 2020. Basically, I am still a new timer, but I saw many writers emerge from this predicament. So for those of you who are a writer, I thank you for this dedication to supplying myself and others with encouragement to keep publishing.

Where have you grown over the year?

Do you need look within yourself? Are you noticing changes on your outward appearance? Does your space around you look different than it did a year ago?

I was planning on just keeping it to one question per section, but I could not help myself. I guess it is the teacher in me to provide scaffolded question to support your conscious and subconscious thinking. I believe the word where infers this has to be a specific place or location. Well, yes it is, but I would think about the changes that make the difference.

If I was to recommend a bit of advice to you, it will be to think about a situation or an image of yourself from a year ago. How would you react and feel about it?

When did you give time to yourself this year?

Closely looking at your situation and understanding where you are at mentally, physically, socially, emotionally or even spiritually can help to see if you took time out for yourself. It is not selfish to take time out just for you, it is selfless to give onto yourself so you can give onto others. Shaming ourselves for saying no to obligations that will make others happy, but not us. This leads us no where but despair, anguish and frustration.

Breaks are necessary and healthy to allow you just to feel and be present with you. Nothing is more gratifying than splurging on your health by feeling a wholeness within. Live a life worth taking the time to think and be there for you. You are your own ride or die person in this whole. Take care of yourself and be well.

How did spread love to yourself and others?

Do you remember when I told you about taking inventory about your personal relationship? (Of course I do Lyle!) Great! I am thankful you got my back. It is time to think back to all of those conversations you had with them. A question to help guide you here may go like…what did you do to console them?

When doing this act, the acts of kindness you spew out to the world in every tear shed and laugh heard goes a long way to growth together. This can also include the stranger in the line of Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, or a local cafe shop (for those who support local businesses, thank you!) you pay for their drink or hold the door on the way out. I would not focus on all of those the moments you had throughout the year. Choose one in particular which sticks out to you to reflect on.

Why is my life better than it was a year ago?

Reflect on anything here but just pick one area of your life which got better mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, and if choose to include spiritually include this as well. Laying these out in front of yourself and go through each carefully. Consider why you benefited from this a year ago and do you plan on continuing this into the future? These questions help to center your responses to be thoughtful and concise with the message you want to convey to yourself.

Ultimately, this is a specific summary of all of these categories to provide a wellness of fluidity between these four to five different reflection options. Choose your path wisely and make sure to reason with yourself through it.

Final words

I would like to genuinely wish each of you a happy, safe, productive, and loving New Year! It has given us all plenty to think about but I believe we are going to be better because of it.

Cheers 🥂🍻 !