Reflecting on What I’m Most Thankful for This Year

24 Nov
Sunset reflection at Chestnut Hill Reservoir

It happens every year: Labor Day comes, and the pace of the year speeds up.

We get to Halloween, and it speeds up even more.

So one thing I enjoy about Thanksgiving — in addition to the time off from work and the turkey and gravy — is that it’s an occasion to pause and reflect on what we’re grateful for at that moment, before we all get swept up in the frenzy of the December holidays.

This year has had its share of ups and downs, and it hasn’t all gone according to plan. But as the legend that is Nicole Westbrook once said, we can’t be hateful; we’ve gotta be grateful

In that spirit, here is a list (in no particular order) of some of the people, places, and things I’m giving thanks for this year. 

  • Everyone who contributed to the development and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines — especially the team at Moderna, which made the vaccine I received
  • Everyone who has gotten vaccinated
  • The return of live, in-person music
  • C’mon C’mon
  • Fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies
  • Having a job
  • My AirPod Pros, and that, among other things, I can watch TV shows or movies at home with my AirPods on and not have to worry about how loud the volume is (or how loud my neighbors are while I’m watching something)
  • Hugs
  • Michelle, Beth, Ruth, Dr. Galvez, and all the other nurses, aides, therapists, doctors, and others who’ve worked with my dad this year
  • Being an uncle
  • That Bruce Springsteen brought his one-man show back to Broadway this summer, and that I was able to get tickets and go
  • Melatonin
  • Kaitlan Collins
  • The fact that I live in a part of the country (and a part of my state) where people generally take the pandemic seriously, and have generally acted responsibly — and that the spread of Covid has generally reflected this
  • The Question of the Day (when I get an answer)
  • Cristobal Tapia de Veer, Nicholas Britell, and Siddhartha Khosla, the composers of the White Lotus, Succession, and Only Murders in the Building theme music
  • Small/local businesses that survived the pandemic “year” — especially random ones like the Boston Chipyard at Quincy Market
  • My sister and brother-in-law
  • The Lone Bellow
  • That, in spite of all the ups and downs, I’ve been happy every single day this year
  • Walks with Andreina
  • Random days in the fall when the sky is a perfect blue and temperatures are in the 70s
  • Pretend It’s a City
  • Good friends who check in on me from time to time to make sure I’m doing alright
  • Those early days of summer this year, when places were reopening, and you didn’t have to wear a mask if you were vaccinated, and people were happy, and things were more care-free, and it really felt like things were back on the right track
  • Good haircuts
  • That my mom and dad never got sick with Covid these last 20 months, despite living in Florida
  • The way Aaron Sorkin writes dialogue
  • Sitting in an Adirondack chair, on a deck, overlooking a lake or ocean
  • Cider donuts
  • That I finally converted my 25-year-old camcorder footage to digital
  • Belfast
  • When Ken is out playing his keyboard in Newton Centre
  • That we have a President who is trying to do the right thing, and help people, and move this country forward (not back) — even if it doesn’t always go right
  • That I finally quit watching A Million Little Things cold turkey
  • How Waze knows all the shortcuts
  • That the Red Sox were as good as they were this year and that their season lasted as long as it did — and that I was able to go to a couple games at Fenway, including the good ALCS game
  • That I barely felt anything when I unexpectedly had a tooth pulled this summer
  • Butter cake — especially the one at Del Frisco’s
  • Ted Lasso
  • How quiet it was in my building this summer when my college-student neighbors weren’t there

And, perhaps most important this year …

  • Normalcy, and the fact that I can go places, hang out with friends offline, work with coworkers in person from time to time, celebrate holidays with family, eat at restaurants, go to the movies, and do all kinds of “normal” things again — safely. I hope it lasts.

What about you? What are you thankful for this year?

Happy Thanksgiving!

3 Responses to “Reflecting on What I’m Most Thankful for This Year”

  1. Kaleb Rubenstein November 28, 2021 at 11:58 am #

    I must agree with many of these! It’s good to reflect on what we’re thankful for during this period before the holiday season kicks thanksgiving away. Happy thanksgiving when it’s Hanukkah!

    • Martin Lieberman November 28, 2021 at 12:00 pm #

      Thanks, Kaleb! Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah to you, too. 🙂


  1. In the End, 2021 Was Like a Bridge to Nowhere | Martin's Musings - December 31, 2021

    […] all that, I’m thankful that I got through 2021 without testing positive for Covid once, and that the same can be said […]

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