As promised, I recently completed my Astonishing X-Men re-read. And as I finished the series, a key scene between Colossus and Kitty Pryde helped me make sense of how I’ve felt during key moments in this bullshit year:
This year, which initially seemed so promising on a personal level, has been a slog. This was the year my wife and I returned to the Midwest. We celebrated our five-year wedding anniversary. Despite the pandemic, we got to spend time with family and friends that we had not seen more than once a year for the past three years. So many utterly great things happened to us this year (some of which were the direct result of this blog). And yet, behind it all, 2020 has been 2020.
Here, though, is the real kicker: Even with a vaccine coming and the 2020 US Presidential election (mostly) behind us, I don’t think 2021 is going to necessarily be much better than 2020. The crazy that’s been building around us is not going away anytime soon. The dust Kitty talks about above? It is going to continue to refuse to settle.
Given that, what do you do? For Kitty and me, it’s simple: You actively search for bright spots and things that make you happy in your life, and you grab onto them. You make joy happen when and where you can, and you cherish that joy for as long as it lasts.
Things I am thankful for this year include:
- Getting to celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day with my parents in-person.
- Getting to run a half-marathon with my brother. (The Lake Michigan shoreline was better than Miller Park anyways.)
- Getting to celebrate half a decade of being married to my best friend. (Hopefully, we’ll have that big party next year.)
- Getting to camp alone and with friends in the Midwestern wilds.
- Having a loyal friend take a chance on my startup business.
- Being able to lock down a job in an abysmal market after moving across the country.
- Online Dungeons & Dragons sessions.
- My dumb friends continuing to humor me and join me on my dumb comic book podcast. (And double-thanks to Pat for co-hosting and editing.)
- Getting to celebrate Thanksgiving with my wife’s family. (We tested; we calculated the risks; we traveled; we quarantined. Like Kitty said, sometimes you have to grab happiness.)
- Every other joyful moment I forgot.
Happy came along this year. And if happy can come along this year, of all years, then it doesn’t matter how much dust kicks up around us. Because as long as life keeps going on, happy moments will eventually come.