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Remaining thankful in a tough year
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Remaining thankful in a tough year

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It’s that time of year for Americans to give thanks.

But, just like almost everything else, Thanksgiving will have a different look in 2020.

Family gatherings will be (or should be) much smaller.

The nation’s interstates, highways and airports will be (or should be) less busy.

Even if a Thanksgiving dinner is limited to family members from the same household who have already seen way too much of each other during the past eight months, there is still plenty to give thanks for.

Yes, even in a year that has seen way too much loss of lives.

Yes, even in a year that has seen way too much loss of jobs.

Yes, even in a year that has seen too great a loss of any sense of normalcy.

We still can try to count our blessings even in a year where everything seems half empty instead of half full.

For example, with your smaller, safer family Thanksgiving excluding your crazy uncle who will try to bring up politics at every possible moment, it should be a much more peaceful holiday.

You still can enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner (with extra leftovers) and watch the Detroit Lions lose (sans fans) just like any other year.

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They may be hard to find, but there are things to be thankful for from the pandemic.

Not so hard to find are those working in the medical community putting their health on the line on a daily basis to treat those who are suffering from COVID-19. Many of them won’t even get a relaxing holiday on Thanksgiving.

They deserve an eternal showering of thanks for all they’ve done this year.

We also can be thankful that the pandemic has brought many families closer. Forced family time actually can be a good thing.

Thanks to the technology of the 21st century, it is easier than ever to remain in touch with those family members who live too far away and would be at risk with any visits.

I’m not sure “let’s Zoom with Grandma” would have ever become a mainstream thing without the chaos of 2020.

A stressful, scary pandemic world also has shown people who their true friends are who they can rely on in the toughest of times or when they just need to vent and release some stress. Those types of friends also certainly deserve an extra heaping of thanks.

Add to the list the school administrators and teachers who have had to pivot from in-person to virtual classes, sometimes in a matter of days. There will be some amazing books written in the future about what occurred in the world of education in the year 2020.

There have been plenty of ways for people to deal with the stress of a pandemic world during the past eight months.

If your coping mechanism was extra exercise — running more miles than ever before, figuring out a way to convert the basement into a home gym — then be thankful for your pandemic bod.

If your coping mechanism was to be less healthy, then it might be tough to look on the bright side. At least it shouldn’t take long to figure out the New Year’s resolutions.

Whatever your Thanksgiving looks like, stay safe and enjoy. And remember there are only 29 days to figure out exactly what Christmas will consist of in 2020.

Dale Miller is a sports writer for the Independent. Once a week he wanders away from the sports department to offer his take on non-sports related topics. Email him at dale.miller@theindependent.com

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