From feeling pathetic to grateful with a little perspective

Thom reflects on the positive aspects of a COVID Christmas

For Your Consideration

For Your Consideration

“The desire for a more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.”

I, unfortunately, did not pen that lovely little gem. It was best-selling author Mark Manson in his 2016 book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.

Sometimes I wish I was that clever, which kind of proves the axiom, doesn’t it?

Of course, it is much easier to intellectually embrace such a concept than it is to emotionally assimilate it and, by Christmas Eve, I was more than ready for a break from our pre-Christmas rush specifically and 2020 in general.

LAST WEEK: A banner year for the English lexicon

I vowed to completely unplug from work specifically and the news in general. And I did, for four glorious days in a row.

I would rather have been in Lethbridge with my grandkids, but there, I did it again, didn’t I?

What I found was that in accepting that negative experience, there was, in fact, plenty to be grateful for.

First of all, four glorious days off in a row put me in mind of poor old Bob Cratchit beholden to the nasty old Ebenezer Scrooge for even one day off.

While A Christmas Carol is a work of fiction, Charles Dickens was adept at capturing the essence of the times. It was not uncommon in the early-to-mid nineteenth century for people to work extremely long hours. Estimates peg the work week between 60 and 70 hours for the common worker.

That didn’t start changing until the labour movements of the late 1800s and early 1900s and Canada didn’t even adopt the 40-hour work week until the 1960s.

MORE FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: Under trying circumstances may we all find peace and gratitude

When I tuned in to Zoom on Christmas morning to virtually join the grandkids, I thought about reports in The Interior News from the time of the Spanish flu pandemic. The response to that public health crisis was very similar to the current circumstance, minus Zoom, Facebook, Netflix, internet, indoor plumbing, phones, clean heating fuels, no promise of a vaccine etc.

It is arguable they were better off without at least a couple of items on that list, but I was grateful nonetheless for the relative ease of my life.

Having all that free time on my hands, I also learned how to play “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” on my guitar. If you’re not familar with all the lyrics of this song, look them up because it almost seems like the songwriters presciently thought, ‘they’re really going to need this one in 2020.’

But when Hugh Martin and Randy Blane wrote the song in 1943, they were in the middle of a world war.

For all our current trials and tribulations, at least we’re not in the middle of a world war.

Finally, although I had felt a little pathetic buying ingredients for Christmas dinner for one, they were readily available. I had a fabulous meal with leftovers for round two on Boxing Day.

Many, many things to be grateful for indeed.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada sits ready for use at The Michener Institute in Toronto on December 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn)
Lake Babine Nation to receive Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine to arrive within next two weeks for elders 65+

The first of two massive turbines headed from Prince Rupert for the Site C Dam near Fort St. John on Jan 10. (Photo: Supplied by Tasha McKenzie)
Massive turbines begin trek across Northwestern B.C.

Hydro-Electric turbines headed from Prince Rupert to Site C Dam week of Jan. 10 to 14

Zhùr, the ancient wolf pup found mummified in permafrost at Last Chance Creek mine in July 2016. (Government of Yukon/Submitted)
‘Mummy’ wolf pup unearthed in permafrost paints a picture of ice age ancestors

Zhùr is the best preserved and most complete mummy of an ancient wolf found to date.

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
536 COVID cases, 7 deaths reported as B.C. finds its first case of South African variant

Henry said 69,746 people have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Harvest Meats is recalling a brand of Polish sausages, shown in a handout photo, due to undercooking that may make them unsafe to eat. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the recall affects customers in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Ontario and Saskatchewan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Canadian Food Inspection Agency Mandatory Credit
Harvest Meats recalls sausages over undercooking

Customers are advised to throw away or return the product

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government announces creation of B.C.’s first anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)
Landmark deal sees B.C. forest firms treat big cedars like a First Nation would

Western Forest Products, Interfor among companies to adapt declaration drafted by Nanwakolas Council

A northern resident killer whale shows injuries sustained by a collision with a vessel in B.C. waters. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Coast Guard ramps up protections for B.C. whales

First-ever Marine Mammal Desk will enhance cetacean reporting and enforcement

Most Read