Feeling Grateful During a Pandemic—It Is Possible

Grateful

Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday; I love that it’s about celebrating the things we’re feeling grateful for. And about food. And gathering. I guess I’m biased, because I enjoy cooking, so even though it’s a holiday that requires a decent amount of work, it’s work I like.

Also, I love that there are no gifts involved. What can I say? Gifts just aren’t my love language, unless they are things that you just happen to see that you have a feeling that person would like. I don’t like the pressure of expected gifts delivered by a certain date, ha. 

But this year, Thanksgiving is different. Especially the gathering part. Many of us are not doing it. Or we’re gathering in a very different way. I know many people are eating with just their nuclear family unit, or alone, and it’s easy and very understandable to be sad about our unwelcomed change in plans. And that sadness may make it feel heard to access any feelings of gratefulness. 

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AND YET. Gratitude IS an important tool for getting perspective on tough times.

It may take a little more mental flexibility to be feeling grateful this year, but the things you appreciate will be even more meaningful. Because having things taken away from us tends to highlight what remains, and forces us to appreciate stuff that we might otherwise overlook. 

For example, this year, I am feeling grateful for our house in a way I never have been before. We live in a small house. It’s a fixer upper. There are lots of things to look around and feel frustrated by. The creaky stairs. The way sound travels so that no matter where you are, you are aware of every single other creature in the house.

But since we’ve been spending the vast majority of our time there… I’ve come to appreciate it so much more than I ever did. Even though it’s small, it’s comfortable. It has accommodated our need for more work spaces. My husband set up a desk in what I consider to be an awful space in the basement where the fuse boxes are, under the stairs, and he’s happy as a clam down there. It’s not perfect. But it’s our home. It’s kind of like when Jimmy Stewart kisses the top of the banister that always comes off in his hand in It’s a Wonderful Life. 

Daily Tiny Assignment

Your tiny assignment for today is to give a little bit of thought to the question:

What am I feeling grateful for this year in a way that I never have been before? What am I appreciating now that our world has gotten smaller? To borrow a phrase from the passover seder, what makes my gratitude on this Thanksgiving different from all other Thanksgivings? 

I am not in any way trying to detract from the things these times have taken from us; whether that’s loved ones or a way of life or an activity that gives you solace. I’m just trying to say, let’s appreciate what’s good, too, even as we acknowledge what’s not. We can hold both ends of the spectrum in our hearts and minds at the same time. We don’t have to choose one or the other. 

I am Grateful for YOU

Whatever form your celebration takes this year. Or if you’re even taking this year off from celebrating. I just want to say, I appreciate your attention and your listening to this podcast and caring about being a better person more than I can adequately express. Thank you for being along for the ride. We are in this together. 

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