Being Thankful in a Hard Season

Did we blink and suddenly its Thanksgiving?

This year is different. It moves different, it feels different- there is no way around that. I am guilty of getting disappointed when things don’t end up the way I anticipate. Boy, has 2020 been a rollercoaster in that way. The closer we get to the holidays, the more I am reminded of how much change we’ve truly endured.

Growing up the extent of our family holiday traditions were very minor. We would spend almost the entire day in our dressier clothes waiting to leave for my grandmother’s house. We’d cram into her tiny living room, eating all the traditional food while sitting shoulder to shoulder with my extended family. This year I already miss the crammed togetherness. I’ll miss the 7 different pies, the endless courses of food and catching up with my cousins.

This year is different but it isn’t cancelled.

It may sound cliche but I am choosing to find the joy in this season. I am choosing to be thankful for the little things that still remain. During hard times, an extra boost of effort is needed to do this- and believe me, I know that isn’t easy.

One of my favorite traditions on Thanksgiving is watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. When I was in middle school I fell in love with the Soap Opera Passions. Google it- you’ll question a lot of things- including my sanity and taste in entertainment. It was the most ridiculous show on earth- filled with wizards, warlocks and tons of drama. One year, two of its stars road in the parade and I was instantly HOOKED. Seeing two stars from MY show was absolutely delightful. I couldn’t stop watching and each year since I would tune in. When my niece/goddaughter was born I knew I wanted to share this tradition with her and have for the past 7 years. There was a lot of talk about cancelling it this year. They had to take into consideration all of the precautions and luckily, it will still be on this year. The morning of I know I’ll be snuggled up on the couch soaking in that time with her. I’ll get to show my nephew the magic of seeing Santa for the first time this season. A small glimmer of normalcy in an unusual time- feels on brand for 2020.

It’s ok to feel sad or disappointed for where we are almost 9 months into this situation. You wouldn’t be alone in feeling that way. I have family who have cancelled already and family we cannot have with us due to Covid. I know what it is like to have the plans but not the ones you want. It is ok to grieve and feel thankful for what you have. You can hold both emotions simultaneously.

I have been reflecting a lot this year on how certain circumstances are serving me. What is this time in my life teaching me? Having a daily gratitude practice does help to bring about an awareness of life’s simple pleasures. It helps to keep your mind’s eye peeled for the good life has to offer in both big and small ways. For Thanksgiving, we are mixing old traditions with new ones and slowing down to enjoy the people and moments- things money could never buy. This year, I am choosing to be thankful in ways I never had to choose it before. I am thankful I’ll get to spend it with my parents and siblings and their sweet little families. And there will be pie- just not 7 different ones.

I hope you find time to drink in the moments- no matter how they have presented themselves.

I hope love fills the chairs around your dining table.

I hope you take the time to spread love to those around you and never forget that a thoughtful gesture goes a very long way.

I hope you know I’ll be praying for your peace.

I hope you know how thankful I am for you.

I hope you find the courage to feel thankful too.

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving from Massachusetts! (did you know it started here first?)

Until next week,

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