Let’s talk about simple pleasures, like sweatpants and family time. I asked what you’re reflecting on this holiday week, and your answers were reassuring and inspirational.

Yes, this year has been disconcerting, lonely, unpredictable and terrifying. But it’s also cemented our truest needs and most fundamental connections. Here’s what you appreciate, maybe anew, and maybe again.

“I’m grateful for good health, our jobs and the health and safety of my 91-year-old father.”

“I’m grateful for new opportunities: playing, interacting, engaging and homeschooling my kids. I was a biology professor, and since homeschooling have used my curriculum design skills and started to share my STEM ideas on new pages. I’m enjoying both reaching my kids in new ways, as well as reaching many parents out there and still furthering my personal mission of making STEM accessible in a new way!”


“I am grateful that just as COVID-19 arrived, so did twin boys who were available for adoption. My daughter and son-in-law have had them since January when they were a week old, and although the adoption process has been slowed considerably due to COVI-19, we are still on track for permanent placement into our very lucky family!”

“My kids who wouldn’t see each other during the day get to play together at ‘recess.’ I’m also grateful for relaxed mornings that would be hectic if I were trying to get three out of bed and ready for school on different schedules.”

“I’m grateful to have so much time with my 1-year-old. I wish I could work part-time, but my job won’t allow for that, and I don’t want to stop working entirely. I feel like working from home is as close as I’ll get. There’s no commute time and I get to see her during breaks throughout the day.”

“I’m grateful I have a job and a roof over my head.”

“I’m grateful for the slower pace of our lives and not feeling like we are constantly on the go. I’m grateful to be employed by a university that is testing regularly and feeling safe at my job.”

“I am grateful for an amazing office of supportive colleagues. It has been a challenging year with the loss and struggles for several of us in our office. My boss has given us the flexibility in our schedules to do what is needed while others pick up the slack. The world of work would be a much better place if there were more places where people felt like they had a ‘work family’ instead of just co-workers.”

“I am grateful for the health of my family and the new tools that I have learned to use to adapt to the new normals of this pandemic without major sacrifice to my lifestyle. Lastly, I am grateful for the many new friends and contacts I have made virtually over this time and look forward to meeting and hopefully sharing ways to make the world a better place together as we move forward.”

“I’m grateful for all the technology that makes it possible to Zoom and FaceTime with all my family. My children and their children live in six states and the District of Columbia. Being able to connect with them is a highlight of any day that it happens.”

“I am grateful for the rhythm of our lives slowing down and to have gained happiness pursuing hobbies like exercising and baking that I never made time for before.”

“I’m grateful for each day of in-person school at Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston.”

“I’m grateful that both my girls have been at school in person this fall at The Rashi School and The Woodward School, respectively.”

“Every single day I am so grateful to know that even though I’m in charge of steering my own ship, I can’t control the weather. Understanding that I can’t change other people and the way the world works is so incredibly liberating.”

“I’m grateful for the folks throughout the medical community who are not only directly placing themselves and their loved ones at risk to treat COVID-19 patients regardless of their usual roles, but are also continuing to do all they can to provide for their non-COVID-19 patients’ regular needs. I am embarrassed and saddened that too many in the community ignored their advice and pleas to stay away from each other so that the curve could have flattened, which would have allowed them to return to their normal routines by now.”

“I’m grateful to spend so much time together as a family.”


“I am truly grateful for the extra time I have had to see and spend time with my children.”

“I’m grateful for parental leave benefits. I recognize that being home with my pandemic baby, born Sept. 27, is a huge privilege.”

“A silver lining is that my kids, 4 and 7, have had this time together. The chaos can be overwhelming at times, but it’s been really lovely to be able to watch their friendship evolve since they don’t have other playmates most of the time.”

“I’m grateful for my fourth grader to find joy and amazement learning with Rabbi Myra, and to have Brandeis student teachers as role models on Sunday mornings at BJEP@Home and eventually back on the Brandeis campus.”

“I’m grateful for no commute. The extra time allows for more frequent and longer walks. I’ve lost weight!”

What are you feeling grateful for?