Like many others, my 2020 has included many phases - from the incredibly optimistic phase, the nervous to leave my house phase, the haven’t-worn-pants-without-an-elastic-band phase, the figuring out video meetings phase, to the thinking my dogs are the only ones who understand me phase.
One of the phases that I went through involved obsessively trying to stay on top of everything happening outside of the four walls of my house which led me to constantly checking the latest headlines. Needless to say, that was overwhelming and quickly became counterproductive.
That is until one day when I saw a different kind of article that piqued my interest. This article covered the psychology of a prolonged period of stress and how it affects our brains and our bodies. The scientist in me was completely fascinated by the facts but I also realized it was currently and very actively happening to ME. I wasn’t the exception and I quickly needed to make a change.
“Take one minute every day and think of three things that you are grateful for.”
I had heard the advice many times, but I had always dismissed it. It seemed like it was both an unnecessary step and just too simple to have a real effect. But then I started doing it.
The first couple of days, I went for the seemingly obvious ones - I am grateful for my family, my friends, my health, and my home. As the days went on, I started to branch out - I am grateful for my favorite iced coffee, for true crime podcasts, and for my fuzziest socks.
So why am I telling you all of this?
I can't even begin to tell you how many times you have been on my gratitude list.
I am incredibly grateful that you love whales, that you have chosen to support WDC with a donation that you worked really hard to earn, and that you have invested in the work of me and WDC.
I am grateful that when conservation feels like such a big and overwhelming concept, that you all are there to remind me to take it one step at a time and focus on doing the next right thing.
I am grateful for the letters you send to the WDC office and I am grateful that you have chosen for whales and dolphins to be part of your life.
While this year has been full of the unexpected, it was also filled with projects that your support made happen. Thank you for the incredible impact you have made. You helped Little White and Little Grey explore their new home in the Sea Life Beluga Sanctuary. You inspired us to find new and creative ways of delivering our events virtually during the pandemic, and helped fund those new platforms. You helped endangered Southern Resident orcas and gave them a voice to protect their homes. This is only a snapshot of what you have made possible but I hope it helps remind you that you did some amazing things this year.
Lastly, I am deeply grateful to those who made incredibly generous donations throughout this year. In these strange and difficult times, we appreciate everyone who gives what they can and that giving comes in many forms. Whether you make a donation, share a post on social media, sign a petition, or write us a letter, we appreciate you and our shared love of whales and dolphins.