With the exception of my sister who works at Publix, most of my close family has had the ability to work from home. I’m incredibly grateful to have a home to quarantine IN, to have family close by so I don’t go insane, to have access to food we grow ourselves, to have more time to spend with our dog (Izzy) and cat (Lyra), and to be situated in such a way that I can still get work done from home.
In the tumultuous year that has been 2020, our family was given the greatest news of all — that it will be expanding! We learned in March that baby Oliver will be joining us, and that has brought so much light into our lives in a year that has had many dark moments. We are beyond grateful for this blessing, and look forward to paying this gratitude forward.
This crazy year has brought a greater sense of appreciation for the people that I have in my life. Thankfully, we have all found ways to stay connected throughout all the chaos, sometimes even more so than before! Whether it be through a birthday party via Zoom, an online family game night, or a good old phone call, I’m grateful that we can continue to spend time TOGETHER, even if we are physically apart.
At the beginning of 2020, my husband and I had started the search to buy our first house and were very fortunate to find “the one” shortly after our city’s lockdown went into effect last March. It was quite the experience, to say the least. Having a place to truly call “home” — especially now that most of our time is spent at home to keep ourselves and others safe — has helped us feel grounded amid a year filled with so much uncertainty, and I am so grateful for that.
Despite having my last year of graduate school cut short by the pandemic, I am incredibly grateful for my education, family’s support, and my many wonderful experiences at the University of Florida. I am especially thankful to the Southern Scholarship Foundation and UF Career Connections Center, who played a pivotal role in my undergraduate and graduate experience.
Being able to have my dream wedding even during the COVID19 Pandemic. I am so grateful for all of my amazing family and friends who worked so hard to make my special day perfect. I am also grateful for Zoom so that everyone was able to watch the ceremony from a safe distance.
I’m grateful for my dog and the new puppy my husband surprised us all with. No matter the challenges of our human days, these dogs lift spirits with their joy and unwavering instinct to live in the present moment. Being with them these days, I’ve found myself doing more of the same – and feeling gratitude for those moments and all those to come.
In 2017, I suffered a stroke at 30 years old and had to spend a couple weeks in Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare ICU. That was a very trying time that was filled with so many thoughts and emotions and PAIN. That being said, after I was released and rehabilitated myself back to “normal” I had developed a much more positive outlook and respect for life. And with virtually ZERO lasting conditions from the stroke.
Thinking back, I have so much to be grateful for just in this story alone. I had access to the best doctors at TMH (1), which was made possible by the insurance plan I had with Capital Health Plan (2), which is supplied by my employer (3) and all my family and friends that were around me to give me the strength to WANT to get through it (4)…