Happy Thanksgiving Week friends! This Thursday we will celebrate Thanksgiving 2020…. the holiday for gratitude in a year that has been interesting for us all! But they say gratitude can change your mood, alter your outlook, and literally lift your spirit! You just have to be dedicated to seeking it, consistent with practicing it, and open to experiencing it effects.
So much of 2020 has been about the unpredictable, letting go of expectations and learning to adapt. There have been so many moments that we all should and do feel proud for our shifting gears, running with change, and accepting circumstances- even making the best of them. This is the year where Zoom brought us together, car parades to celebrate all sorts of milestones became a thing and we have learned that we can go to school, go to work and live our lives form anywhere (a challenging thing that I believe has changed our lives for the better). With all of these successes in the face of difficulty, it is still incredibly hard to accept the change, especially for those bigger fixtures in our lives like holidays. So what better holiday to start the season with than the one centered on gratitude!
Now there are a million posts on the internet about gratitude…. a bunch of different practices you can try and so much advice about how to treat this particular holiday – as the global pandemic hangs around. So what do my words have to add to the conversation?
Well in our world we are dealing with a lot of mental health. Yes, we definitely have our hands full with the physical ailments… but recently it has been a lot of mental focus. I finally said to my therapist, I am just tired of dealing with it all and being so emotionally drained…. even if dealing with the layers leads to better health…. gets us closer to where we want to be. In fact the therapy experience for all of us during the last transplant, left our marriage and who we are as people profoundly changed for the better…. storms of life really do produce rainbows. But it is a lot of work and she reminded me it’s going to be a lot of hard and intentional work, because we are healing from trauma. And that is sorta when it struck me, all of us are getting over the challenge of this year and it is going to take hard and intentional work….maybe starting with gratitude….
Thanksgiving is my family’s big holiday. It is the only one we ALL gather together for anymore so it has become a several day adventure and something we all look forward to each fall. So this of course means traveling to be together and it is a crowd. Two factors that are highly contentious this year concerning the spread of COVID-19. However, our medical team said with the proper parameters taken they feel we can and maybe should go. It is vitally important during this phase of the transplant recovery to do something “normal”. This will produce feelings of normalcy… fun …. and provide hope for a future. Danny’s physical condition is progressing…. but all the bumps in the road… And the emotional toll of the experience and the experience in these circumstances… it is hard to see and feel that! This holiday with family could help to change our mental status.
Now this is not to say if you do not see your family… if you do not celebrate Thanksgiving your not being mentally healthy. Everyone has to do what is best for them…. BUT the point really is that medical professionals who fear COVID, have placed mental health before that fear. They have made outlook, emotions, and feelings of hope as important an aspect of healing and moving forward as the physical. Maybe we all need to do that with what this year has been… in however that looks for us…. and maybe, just maybe it needs to start with gratitude.
Wishing you and yours a blessed, safe, and gratitude filled Thanksgiving!
Thank you so much for reading and remember to make it a great day!