My wife and I welcomed our fourth child this year. In the midst of this pandemic we dealt with job loss and unexpected shifts in living arrangements along with emotional distress and physical sickness.
Through it all, through every moment, out children find a way to laugh, smile, and make merry. They constantly remind me that nothing in life is so bad that you can’t have fun with the people that you’re with.
I’m so grateful to be surrounded by tiny humans who only know how to love. I’m raising them. But they are lifting me. I’m better every day because of them.
I am reading historian Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book about presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. (I am grateful for good books, perhaps now more than ever.) In it, the author observes that a large increase in nervous disorders occurred in the early 1900s. Three reasons for that development were cited: increased speed of communication (telegraph); clamorous city life replacing the rhythms of nature; and the tabloid press exploding local stories into national news. Now 12 decades later, we persist along that misguided path. Email and texting have replaced the telegraph, of course; screen time has further removed us from nature; and social media are supercharged tabloids. We are living our lives at great remove from our essences. So it is that I bicycle to my pond, load my cheek with soothing tobacco, fish with a lure crafted from wood when I was a boy, and delight in fooling one, two, three, four, five bass. I am as a snowy egret, attracting meals with yellow feet. I am grateful that my mother taught me to fish and to love the birds, to derive pleasure from a hike in the woods. I am glad that she caused me to put up my BB gun and resisted always my pleas for heavier arms.
With the unprecedented challenges we have faced this year, I am grateful that every morning brings a fresh start and the opportunity to make things just a little bit better for myself, my family, friends, colleagues, and clients.