One year ago, after a lovely evening spent celebrating the 4th of July, I headed inside to journal for the day. I recently came across that entry and was amazed at how things are both completely different while also somehow incredibly familiar. So, just as I've done with past journal entries, I am going to "react" to the journal. In it, I wrote:
Easter Sunday is already a special day because of what it represents, but this year's was particularly memorable because of the circumstances surrounding it. As anyone who hasn't been living under a rock knows, the COVID-19 outbreak has ravaged the world, forcing people to be apart during many milestones. My family thought that would continue to be the case during Easter, so you can imagine how grateful we were when we found a way to be together.
Many people who grew up in the Northeast probably remember the euphoria of rushing downstairs on a wintery weekday to discover that school had been canceled. I, on the other hand, remember quite the opposite: an anticlimactic feeling of trudging downstairs on a snowy school-day to sit at the dining room table and work on my assignments. The difference? Being homeschooled.
I set the goal to create holiday traditions back in October when I thought that the upcoming year would unfold quite differently. I was struggling to be content living in Florida, far away from family and friends, so I challenged myself to set a few goals that would push me to make the most of my situation.
Recently celebrating Thanksgiving prompted me to stop and think about what I am grateful for. As I've shared before, this year has had its fair share of low points, so I wanted to use the week of Thanksgiving as an opportunity to look back and focus on what I am thankful for in spite of the rough times I experienced. As I wrote my list of thankfulness, I was amazed to see just how blessed I am.
Two weeks ago, I heard words one never wants to hear when answering a phone call from their mom. The moment I picked up, she said, "Danny, something's wrong with your sister." I promptly stopped what I was doing at work and became instantly invested in what her next words would be...
Most people who know me can attest to the fact that I have wanted to visit Washington State for many years. Well, this is the year where I decided to finally follow through by visiting the place that has intrigued me for so long.
Last Sunday I got a call that I never wanted. I was in Indianapolis for a winter retreat with students who volunteer for my office when I received news that I was not expecting. I first got a text telling me that my Grandma was not doing well and then a follow-up call to inform me of how pressing the situation truly was.
As families across America gather around their tables or TVs to commemorate a holiday that is all about giving thanks, I thought that it would be the perfect opportunity to list a few things that I am incredibly grateful for: