I know its been a long time since I wrote to you. I’ve been busy. Yeah, that’s the go-to excuse, right? Busy.
I’ve never stopped believing in you deep down, but I feel like I’ve aged-out of asking for gifts. But here I am. Writing to you to ask for something. Let me backtrack a little before we get into the big request.
As I am sure you’ve heard over and over again in other letters — and probably experienced personally! — 2020 has been a very trying year.
I read somewhere that there is a reason to be tired: because we’ve lived with a level of stress for the last nine months. And its so true! I don’t know at this point what its like to be stress-free. I’m perpetually on edge these days.
As such, I am tired. My soul is weary. My mind has way too many tabs open. And my body feels just beat up.
It’s been a year.
But you know what? I’ve learned a LOT.
I’ve learned how to adapt. My husband and my life has long taught me how to pivot in any given moment. Tour changes. Can you leave in an hour for some city? Job changes. Don’t make plans too far in advance, because things WILL change. This is the first time I’ve had to adapt to everything just STOPPING. But we’ve pivoted and changed and adapted.
The biggest thing I’ve learned, however, is the importance of counting my blessings. Every night, I crawl into bed, and I write down what I am thankful for that day. Some of my items are pretty redundant night to night, but its because I don’t take them for granted. Things like my amazing family and my awesome friends. I’m so thankful for my job and having a roof over my heard. Food to eat. And making it back home at the end of every day.
My list has expanded, though, to things I definitely took for granted. Things like healthcare workers and scientists. School teachers do not get the credit they deserve. I may not be in school any more, nor do I have kids in school. But I see them. And I appreciate them.
I’ve grown to have a love/hate relationship with social media. Obviously the spread of misinformation and just hateful words has been pervasive this year. It’s brought out the worst in people, and its emboldened keyboard warriors. It’s endangered all of us, and its been a huge cause of so much of my stress and exhaustion.
But its also given us a way to keep in touch with family we have had to be separated from, and perhaps even reconnect with people we’ve lost touch with.
It’s also given us direct access to scientists. I have learned SO MUCH listening to doctors and scientists via social media. We no longer have to rely on any sort of medium to relay information. We can get it for ourselves. And I have LOVED that fact.
And its information from those scientists that drove my decision to stay in Nashville for Christmas. Oh Santa, if only I could find the words to describe how badly I miss my family, and how the fact we aren’t traveling has left me feeling like today is “just another day.”
But in my heart and gut, I know its for the best. And there’s light on the horizon in the form of the vaccine, as we learn more and more and more about this virus. Knowledge is power, after all. And I will see my family again when its safe to do so. Because their safety means everything to me.
I’m sure by now you’re wondering when I’m going to get to that request. I’m almost there.
Because, you see, as I talk about all these stresses and disappointments, I don’t want you to get the impression I’m depressed. Oh, sure, I’ve had my moments where you could say I’ve struggled with a level of depression. But you know what’s one thing I haven’t been at a loss for?
I always, always, always have hope. In even the darkest of times, there is hope to be found.
And THAT, Santa, is what I wish for this Christmas. For everyone to feel the feeling of hope. I liken hope to light. I liken light to positivity. I like positivity to action… and as such, with hope to take action. Action to MAKE things better, if only in our own backyard. If only in our own home.
I believe in Santa Claus. I believe in magic. I believe in hope.
I also believe in the power of prayer. So tonight as I lay down with Christmas anticipation, I will pray for our world. I will pray for hope. And I will pray that Santa makes his rounds tonight, and little children wake up in the morning with a sense of awe and wonder, and their parents have hope in their hearts. Because things WILL get better. They will.
God Bless and safe travels,