This year has felt like a continuous uphill battle -- and it’s not even over yet! As we approach another holiday, I find myself getting more anxious. I have always been a fan of Thanksgiving and the traditions that come with it -- food, family and travel. But all I can think about this year is the family we won’t see and the traditions that won’t be happening. Is my three-year-old going to miss out on the first Thanksgiving she will actually remember? Will my 10-month-old even have a “first” Thanksgiving? Do I even need to make Thanksgiving dinner? When am I going to get to the store?
In the midst of my worry and stress, I realized I needed to take a moment and just switch my mindset from worry to gratitude. While 2020 has been a whirlwind, I wanted to stop and think of what I can control and what I am thankful for this year.
I’m grateful my family is safe and healthy, that we have a roof over our heads and food on the table. I am grateful for the random acts of kindness I see happening in my community, for the first responders who have worked tirelessly this year and for my peers who have been working at healthcare facilities to keep our children well.
As I started to count my blessings, I felt a weight lifted from my shoulders.
All it took was a few moments of reflection – but those new moments put me in a new mindset and reminded me of the reason for the season.
So while this year has tested our limits and made it difficult at times to see the bright side, I challenge you all to take a few minutes out of your week and send someone a “thank you” note, write down something you are grateful for or think of someone that has inspired you. It may be just the thing to lift your spirits this Thanksgiving.
Written by Megan Flynn, Valley Children’s Marketing and Communications Project Manager