November 26, 2020
Let’s be real. This has been one awful year. The coronavirus has upended everything. My heart breaks for those of you who have lost a loved one, a friend, a colleague. I know so many of you are struggling with financial stress due to a layoff or reduced hours, or lost clients.
It has been a lot. And it will continue to be a lot even when a vaccine arrives. It may be years until the economy heals. And there is no easy salve for those of us who have lost a loved one.
Our plates in 2020 feel as if they have been filled to the max with challenge and heartache.
My advice—and something I am practicing daily as I recover from my health scare—is to get a bigger plate, so there is room for gratitude along with all of the very real challenges.
Given all the stress that is swirling around our homes, our country, our world, we may have lost sight that there is always, always, always, something or someone to be grateful for, or grateful about.
Consciously reminding ourselves of those elements in our life is so very important right now. Not to erase the stress. That is impossible.
But I think of this like the old game of tug of war. Right now you may feel your rope has been yanked toward the side of fear and despair. I get it. But I am asking you to make an effort to pull on the other side of the rope with all your strength. That’s what practicing gratitude does for us. It serves as the positive force that helps us avoid being overwhelmed by negative thoughts.
I know many of us will not physically be with family this Thanksgiving. But we can all make a phone call, or FaceTime, or Zoom. Or email. Or write a letter! You can still tell your family and friends how much they mean to you and share a fun memory or two. We have not lost our ability to connect. And in connecting we can remind ourselves, and our circle, of what we enjoy and treasure most about our relationships.
And let them know that once it is safe, hopefully long before next Thanksgiving, you are looking forward to a big hug.
Expressing that gratitude will help you. And it will certainly lift the spirit of those you care about. That’s plenty to be thankful for.