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Silver Linings: Gratitude in the Year of CoVid

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“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.

“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
― Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring

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2020 has been a difficult year for everyone. Leave it to something like a deadly pandemic to bring the entire world together against a common foe. We at RunPee totally expected an alien invasion, incoming asteroid, or genocidal incursion by intelligent machines to do that. But then, we’ve seen too many movies.

We hope it doesn’t seem inappropriate to make light or be grateful for Plague Armageddon, but even in the darkest hours, we can still light a candle. And like Samwise Gamgee, Hobbit hero, be grateful amid the fumes of Mordor:

There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.

– JRR Tolkien, The Return of the King

Here are some things to be grateful for in this midst of this terrible year. Please help us add to this list in the comments section, and help others find hope too.

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Learning gratitude, one day at a time.

The CoVid ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ (AKA, what we’re grateful for in 2020)

The world will break your heart ten ways to Sunday. That’s guaranteed. I can’t begin to explain that. Or the craziness inside myself and everyone else. But guess what? Sunday’s my favorite day again. I think of what everyone did for me, and I feel like a really lucky guy.

-Pat, Silver Linings Playbook

  • People spent quality time with the people in their households. It might have been a long, hard, slog, but those of us with a household of more than one can be grateful for lots of (if forced) togetherness.
  • We’ve learned to cherish our family and friends, realizing they can be taken away at any time.
  • The Internet kept us connected and sane. Online features like Zoom let us be close to loved ones, while safely distanced. People posted funny quarantine memes. There are hopeful videos of entire cities, serenading the world from their balconies. We can stream endless movies, to stave off loneliness, despair, and boredom. (See, movies are important!)
  • We’ve cleaned, organized, decluttered, redecorated, fixed stuff, and gotten to all those little nagging tasks we’ve been putting off for years. Pat yourself on the back, peeps!
  • We had to be super creative to keep ourselves amused, day after day, in small spaces. Awesomely humorous videos emerged, showing people in their homes doing wacky things — because bored minds do strange things.
  • The environment started to heal. The planet appreciated humanity being stuck at home. We have cleaner air and water. Endangered species started to recover. It only took two weeks into the quarantine to see Earth’s other creatures emerge into the light.
  • We’ve had a major life time-out. We don’t know when normalcy will return, but we’ve had time to learn new things, stretch our brains, or at least catch up on those Netflix shows we’ve always wanted to binge.
  • We’ve been forced to learn new ways to destress and stay healthy. It’s been hard, and a lot of us gained the CoVid “19”, but we’re trying to do better — or at least thinking about it. With the New Year just around the corner, the time is perfect to put some of those nutrition, fitness, gratitude, meditative, and creative skills to use. Take the time to practice and perfect what’s important: taking care of ourselves.
  • We’ve learned to appreciate front line and essential workers, those putting themselves out there every day — at huge risk — to keep life going for everyone stuck at home. Take the time to thank your doctors and nurses, the people at the pharmacies, food service employees, postal employees, Uber drivers, infrastructure workers, and anyone else you can think of.  They kept society intact and saved countless lives. Again, it’s about gratitude.
  • Also, and this one should be obvious if you’re reading this: let’s be grateful for our lives. We must grieve for and honor those who died, but even more, remember that every easy breath you take is a gift. Cherish your health — your very existence — and that of those you love.

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RunPee is grateful too…

Here at RunPee Towers, we could have been depressed about the near total movie blackout. Instead, we doubled down to do something we’ve never otherwise had the time to do: review indie and limited release films that otherwise would only have a tiny audience. As many as we could get our hands on!

With blockbusters on hold, and theaters mostly shuttered, people have stepped up their streaming habits — and it’s nice that there are so many fresh new movies to watch.

The benefits of reviewing indie and limited release films are threefold:

1. This helps/encourages small movie houses all over the world to keep on keeping on. #IndieLove

2. Movie fans can find some real hidden gems to enjoy and share!

3. RunPee found a worthy new category of entertainment to write about. We’d love to continue to cover small production films in depth when the big releases and tentpole movies return. (Someday…)

And we’re thankful for you, faithful RunPee Fans. Hang in there, peeps! This too shall pass.


More movie quotes to offer hope in a dark time:

Hope Is The Only Thing Stronger Than Fear.

-President Snow, The Hunger Games

In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.

-Yoda, Revenge of the Sith

There should be no boundaries to human endeavor. We are all different. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.

-Steven Hawking, in The Theory of Everything

We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe.

– T’Challa, Black Panther

Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light.

— Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban

One last helpful note: RunPee Urinologist Dana Simone published a beautiful Gratitude Journal this year, to help people find hope. Please help her (and help yourselves) by checking it out:

Pandemic got you stressed? Self-Care Strategy

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Don’t miss your favorite movie moments because you have to pee or need a snack. Use the RunPee app (Androidor iPhone) when you go to the movies. We have Peetimes for all wide release films every week, including Dune, No Time To Die, and coming soon The Eternals. We have literally thousands of Peetimes—from classic movies through today's blockbusters. You can also keep up with movie news and reviews on our blog, or by following us on Twitter @RunPee. If there's a new film out there, we've got your bladder covered.
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Join the conversation

comment 8 comments
  • revrobuk Author

    At the risk of driving you lot mad by repeating myself, my big COVID-19 plus is getting the opportunity and the time to watch all those indie films and write about them afterwards. In fact, I’d almost go as far as to say that, even if the world went back to normal tomorrow, I’d still want to keep up with the indie film reviewing.

    I mean, let’s be honest, if all that hadn’t happened then I would probably have been licking the windows by now. I do do some other stuff with a few authors and that might be getting bigger in the new year but even the speediest writer can only get a couple or three novels a year out so I’d have had a lot of down time between them.

    In short, thank you Jill, Dan, Vera, and everyone else at RunPee for helping me keep track of my marbles rather than having to worry about finding them later on.

  • Dan Gardner Administrator

    I’m crazy lucky that my day-to-day didn’t get flipped upside down during 2020. For the most part I did what I would have been doing COVID-19 or not. (Rebuilding the RunPee app using Flutter.) What did change is our weekly ritual of getting Peetimes for movies on Thursday nights. And of course the RunPee income hasn’t been enough to buy dinner, but we’re very fortunate that our business overhead is very small. We don’t have office rent, or insurance, or other continual expenses that sucked our savings dry. We’ve just had to tighten our belts and live frugally until the income picks back up again.

    I guess the most notable impact is that we didn’t have the money to do any travel, but then we don’t want to travel during a pandemic anyway.

  • Golden Man Author

    This year, I was grateful to see Tenet in theaters. it was my most anticipated movie of the year and easily my favorite. I was also grateful to see Freaky on the big screen. I’m grateful for Andrew Lloyd Weber and National Theatre Live streaming stage shows. I’m grateful there are still two local movie theaters in business. I’m grateful Taylor Swift released two new albums and two new documentaries this year. I’m grateful this is the year I began to love and accept myself more. I’m grateful New Years will mark my nine-year anniversary with my girlfriend/partner.

  • Jill Florio Administrator

    RunPee Mom writes:

    “I’m most thankful that no one I love has come down with the coronavirus.”

  • revrobuk Author

    Indeed, same here!

    I’m also glad that the oldest and frailest of our family has had the first vaccine shot so the rest of us shouldn’t be too far behind.

  • Jill Florio Administrator

    Rob, that’s awsome!! And you are next up too?

    My parents in California are next also, right after the healthcare and essential workers.

    #2020Gratitudes!

  • revrobuk Author

    Actually my daughter is before me as she’s a care worker. My father in law is Cat 1, daughter is Cat 2 and I’m Cat 4 but they’re saying that everybody in the UK over 50 should be vaccinated by Easter.

    So… get those conga lines ready!

  • RunPee Urinologist DanaSimone! Author

    All of the comments on this post are extremely empowering! 2020 was such a roller coaster of emotions and reflection. I’m grateful for so much such as meditation, my sanity, overcoming an emotional pit, writing the gratitude journal, remaining virus free, finding Lysol, and Run Pee archives of reviews and editorial contributions.

    I even made a promise to myself that I remain physically fit and not exit quarantine looking like a gummy bear but a goddess; so far, I’ve done fairly well. I went a whole year without eating my favorite pizza, Little Caesars…what?!?! Don’t ask.

    Stay blessed everyone! Hope to see you soon in the theaters. Thank you in advance for those that purchased a copy of my journal! I hope it helped embrace your soul when you needed it most. TTFN (Ta Ta For Now)

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