How Has The Pandemic Made You Grateful?

The COVID-19 pandemic has been consequential to say the least. In addition to a staggering death toll, it has brought disruption to all of us. And yet, that very disruption offers the opportunity to reflect on our everyday lives.

As Thanksgiving approaches in the U.S., are there things that you are grateful for due to the pandemic?

There are many possibilities. In-person Thanksgiving gatherings were discouraged last year, so the simple fact of seeing family for the holiday may take on a new-found appreciation.

If you have not had COVID, you may be thankful for your health; if you have had it, you may be thankful to have survived.

You may be grateful for the vaccine and the scientists who produced it so quickly, which has allowed safer in-person celebrations this year.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘How do you show thanks?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What book has had the biggest impact on you?’


Health care workers have been under remarkable stresses over the last year and a half, and continue to be even now. Giving thanks to them would not be unreasonable.

Nor would it be unreasonable to be grateful for the teachers, who between quickly adopting to teaching remotely to dealing with rapidly changing safety protocols and helping sometimes traumatized children and teens.

Other essential workers, including the people who grow, pick, ship, and sell the food we consume on Thanksgiving day deserve appreciation.

Will any of these groups get a special nod from you on Thursday? What other groups have been left out? Other than people, what else merits attention?

On this Thanksgiving, are there any new things you are grateful for, that have come about or been highlighted due to the pandemic?

Related questions: What are you grateful for? How are you going to celebrate Thanksgiving this year? Are there unexpected benefits to what we are going through? What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?

 

Who Is In Your Credits Reel?

Do you have an important project, favorite pastime, or significant period of your life? Of course you do; everyone does. Now, imagine it as a movie. Since this movie features you, you decide to stick around through the credits reel. Who would make the post-movie scroll of names?

For example, perhaps you trained for and ran a marathon. Who trained with you for the event? Was it just you? Did a few friends join you? Or did you run with a running club? Did someone coach you or the group? These people definitely fit in the cast.

The people who supported you in your training are also important. Some, most certainly, also fit in the cast. But some belong to the movie’s crew. Who provided you with weekly mileage and running time advice? If you ran with a club, a trained group leader likely filled this role. If it was just you or you and some friends, maybe you followed a book’s advice. Who was the author?


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss the question: ‘How do you show thanks?’ as well as a bonus question, ‘What book has had the biggest impact on you?’


On a more personal level, did your spouse or roommates take care of many of the household chores during the time you spent training? On a grander scale, do you know who staffed the race’s starting or finish line roles? Who took care of the water stops?

In addition, let’s assume you are even interested in some of the smaller roles. Movies often credit caterers. Did your neighborhood deli sell you an awesome sandwich to replenish your carbs and protein after each of your long training runs? Now, on to the movie’s soundtrack. On your solo training runs did you listen to a favorite playlist?

Of course, running a marathon is not the only potential “movie” in your life. Did friends help you with a major house renovation? Did doctors, a therapist, friends, and neighbors ever help you through a terrible illness? Each one could have it’s own movie, and therefore it’s own credits reel.

A credits reel is a decent metaphor to help you classify, name, and show gratitude for who helped you as you worked on finishing a project, improving in your hobby, or helping you accomplish or make it through an important period of your life.

So have at it. Think of a movie about you you’d like to watch. Who is in your credits reel?

Related questions: How do you show thanks? What are you grateful for? Who is your MVP for the year? Who would you like to give a shut out to right now?

Who Are You Thankful For This Year?

We start off this Thanksgiving-themed week with a simple question: Who are you thankful for this year? Why?

Are you planning to tell them? Why or why not?

Related questions: How do you show thanks? What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? What does it mean to be thankful? Who is your MVP for the year?

How Are You Underappreciated?

To be underappreciated can be discouraging. You work hard to accomplish a particular goal, and very few people even notice. If anyone does at all.

There are many ways a person can be underappreciated. Your spouse might not appreciate what you do around the house. Children, since they are just learning, often do not appreciate their world, or what goes into it.

Your friends may not notice what you do to make life better. At work, a boss may not appreciate what you bring to your job or your team. Society at large can be indifferent to actions that an individual takes, however noble they might be.

You can even be underappreciated by yourself. People are often stronger than they give themselves credit for, or more competent or smarter than they realize.

Even if you don’t do kind or generous acts just to receive recognition or acknowledgement, it can be demoralizing to constantly be ignored or taken for granted. Everything you do shouldn’t need affirmation, but tasks can more easily be borne if you have some occasional words of encouragement.

It isn’t a good idea to always play the victim. On the other hand, it is important to recognize the good things you do, and to make sure others recognize them too. It is important to have healthy relationships, whether those relationships are with family members, co-workers, or your community.

What do you do that others don’t recognize? How are you underappreciated? How can you get others to better recognize things they aren’t currently seeing? Are there ways that you underappreciate others?

Related questions: Why do we put up with unhappiness? What does it mean to be thankful? When do you need inspiration? How can we appreciate life more?