Ten Things We are Grateful for in 2020

As 2020 comes to a close, most of us are thinking “good riddance.”

Ten Things We are Grateful for in 2020

After some of our friends, colleagues and family members courageously weathered COVID infections, and we survived closures and cutbacks, demand destruction in the oil and gas industry, toilet paper shortages, remote-learning school schedules and general pandemic-induced anxiety, we have high hopes for a more ordinary 2021.

Trust us, we get it. At TEN|10 Group, we are ready for a return to normalcy. We long for the days of leisurely joking with each other around the watercooler, traveling without survival kits and N95 masks, and seeing our clients face-to-face more often. That said, as this year winds down, we are reminded of our good fortune and we are choosing to focus on gratitude. 

To be honest, this is not an entirely altruistic endeavor. Cultivating and expressing gratitude is one of the best self-care practices available. In fact, according to Christopher Littlefield in his October 20, 2020 Harvard Business Review article, gratitude can act as a counterbalance to stress and uncertainty. 

Littlefield writes, “When we express gratitude, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin — two hormones that make us feel lighter and happier inside. If we want to take care of our minds during this pandemic, understanding how to trigger this feeling is an important tool to have at our disposal.”

Littlefield goes on to recommend practices such as pausing and reflecting, writing a gratitude journal and building time for appreciation into one’s daily routine. We agree these are effective and important steps to reducing the stress of 2020, and we’d like to offer one overall recommendation. Set aside a few minutes and jot down 10 things you are grateful for in 2020. We’ll go first.

Top 10 Things TEN|10 GROUP is grateful for in 2020 (in no particular order)…

  1. Frontline healthcare workers. To every single nurse, doctor, pharmacist and community health worker, we will forever be in your debt for facing this pandemic head on.
  2. Teachers. Albert Einstein said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” Einstein never had to deliver a lecture over Zoom. For their resilience and leadership this year, teachers deserve our deepest appreciation.
  3. New friends and partnerships. Unforeseen circumstances can open doors and facilitate new relationships. This time last year we would never have anticipated getting to know homeland security expert, Professor Juliette Kayyem, but she has become an invaluable resource for our firm and our clients. So has corporate diversity, inclusion and unconscious bias expert Carla Reeves.
  4. High-speed internet service. When video conferencing becomes a way of life, poor connections are not an option.
  5. Getting to know our colleagues and clients on a whole new level. With Zoom and Teams calls from home we’ve learned who has a dog that barks at the mailman, who has a baby, who likes mid-century modern furnishings (thank you for the laughs, Room Rater!), and who has romance novels or business books on their bookshelf.
  6. Organizations like World Central Kitchen and local food banks that are nourishing those hit hard this year.
  7. Ingenuity and adaptability. The need to overcome new challenges can unlock imagination for what is possible. We have watched our colleagues and clients demonstrate this time and time again this year.
  8. Binge-worthy television. Could we really have survived without Netflix or HBO?
  9. Takeout. And the folks who deliver it. 
  10. Our clients. Thank you for facing unprecedented turmoil and forging forward with hardiness, intelligence, creativity and good humor. Through your partnership, we have been able to give back by making sizable contributions to nonprofit organizations that support our veterans, children, the hungry and the homeless.

In closing, we are grateful for the lessons learned in 2020 that we will hold on to and carry forward: sometimes less is more, focus on what really matters, ask the uncomfortable questions, and it’s ok to ask for help. While they may seem cliché, they’ve been too often forgotten or ignored. 

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that anything can happen. While life is full of unpredictability, but we can choose our focus. At TEN|10 GROUP we will always choose gratitude.