Like many, Thanksgiving looked a little different this year for me.
For more years than I can remember, no matter where we've lived, we hop in the car and travel to my sister-in-law's for Thanksgiving. I think we missed one year in 38 years of marriage. And then 2020 arrived; with all it's brew-ha-ha.
But here's the thing. You know what happened? We all missed each other. We perhaps felt more love because we couldn't have what we'd grown to expect. We also found renewed love for family otherwise not seen, a change in the meal, surroundings ... and joy in perhaps what will become new traditions.
It became a very clear lesson in focusing on silver linings. Both little ones and larger ones. We wouldn't have gotten to roast marshmallows instead of eating marinated mozzarella balls. We would not have had extra time to mentally rest and reset after saying goodbye to our kitty, PeeWee, the day before ... and we definitely did not miss being stuck in traffic through DC turning an 8-hour drive into 12!
In a year full of stress, turmoil, uncertainty and division, the "change" served as a an unexpected blessing. One of those things that shake you up just enough and serve as a beautiful reminder of the blessings in your life.
Lessons from a stuffed turkey:
* don't take things for granted
* ground yourself; get outside more
* look for opportunities to be a blessing in someone else's life
* not everyone had the privilege of a turkey on their table
* be kind whenever possible (it is always possible)
* seek out ways to unite; even when you disagree
* it's OK to create new traditions
* don't forget to watch the dog show
Research has shown that expressing thanks and focusing on finding the small silver linings even amidst all that may be going wrong is beneficial to one’s health and can even enhance one’s overall quality of life.
With the official "holiday season" now launched, we're in good position from now through the new year to enjoy a bit of respite from all the negativity of the past. Personally, I welcome this season dedicated to gratitude. May it carry us well into 2021.