Staying Focused on Gratitude

Staying Focused on Gratitude

Thanksgiving is upon us.  A time to pause and take stock of all we’re grateful for.  But as I’m writing this, I confess that the lingering pandemic has made it hard for me to find the silver lining. I worry about the businesses who are struggling, the exhausted health care workers, young students and teachers, front line workers, those with vulnerable health conditions, and most of all, those who have lost loved ones.

However, and most important, I know what to do when I feel this way – take positive action.  Do something that moves me from hopeless to hopeful.  So, here’s what I’ve done.

First, I’m helping promote the #MaskUpMichigan campaign to keep businesses open. The evidence is convincing. The most effective tool we have to keep businesses open is to wear a mask every time we’re in public – especially when indoors.  If you own a business, it’s critical that you require mask wearing in your workplace and encourage customers to do the same.  I know a promising vaccine is on its way, but we have many months before it can be administered to the masses.  So, for now, masking up is our best hope to maintain at least some economic stability.

Second, I’ve been able to donate to organizations that have seen a significant rise in demand for their services due to the pandemic.  Organizations like Forgotten Harvest , Turning Point women’s shelter, and Detroit Rescue Mission who are helping our most vulnerable survive.  All these organizations are 501 (c) 3 non-profits and are doing amazing work.

Third, I’m taking time to restore and nurture my own optimism.  I know it’s a scientific fact that when we have hope, we can break the cycle of victimhood and move toward action.  This is no time to be an Eeyore – too many people need us.  So, I exercise a few times a week, stay connected with family and friends in creative ways, and if I’m feeling especially low, I take time to list all the good things in my life that I’m extremely grateful for, including the health and well-being of my own family.

This year, my husband and I are following the recommended guidelines and having a quiet dinner alone on Thanksgiving.  We’ll miss our big family gathering filled with love, laughter, and lots of great food.  But we’ll also know that the sacrifice we make this year will ensure future holidays when we’ll laugh and hug once more.