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Only 39 more days and we can kiss this year goodbye…yay! It has been challenging, overwrought and filled with calamity. I just hope we can get through the last month relatively unscathed.

Many of us are choosing to not gather with our families at Thanksgiving or choosing to have much smaller versions of our get-togethers, to do our part to not spread the coronavirus. And let’s face it, it’s hard.

None of us want to be responsible for unintentionally getting our loved ones sick but we do want to continue our traditions with family and friends. We want to share all our triumphs this year; new home, new baby, new job, graduation, all the milestones with those that love and appreciate us. And we may also want to show off some new recipes or family staples that everyone looks forward to.

And we are all feeling the loss of our regular connection with each other through shared memories and rituals, surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday.

In my family, we are all going to keep to our separate households, and will most likely spend part of the day Zooming with my sister and her children in Texas, our son in Minneapolis, and sister-in-law in the UK (no they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving – its just a good day to catch up), as well as local family members here in NJ.

This is the time to reflect on what we are grateful for and although it has been a difficult year, I do think there are some silver linings. For example, I am grateful that I started my first gratitude journal on MLK day this year. Who knew it would be such a good and constant reminder to me to focus on the positive #gratitude.

This was also a good year for having long phone calls with far away friends #gratitude. Or when I started working remotely starting in mid-March, I got to spend some quality time with my husband during the week #gratitude.

It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.

~ Eckhart Tolle

In fact, I think the lockdown, the election, and the Black Lives Matter movement of this year, caused me (and maybe you) to reflect on what is truly important in my life. What are my priorities, my values, my beliefs, standards, and ideals. Who do I want in my life? Who do I consider to be toxic and need to be released from? What can I do to improve the quality of my life and others? What actions can I take today that will make a difference? What really matters, after all?

And most importantly, understanding the difference between what pertains to me and what doesn’t. I find that my daily morning meditation has helped me with this immensely. When I am feeling stressed over daily events and start to feel anxious, I ask myself “Does this pertain to me?” If the answer is no, I am released from rumination on the topic. So freeing.

Another thing I have taken up, weirdly, in 2020, is running. Yes, running. I have been walking for a few years now, so I guess I just wanted to pick up the pace. I don’t know what the motivation is, as I have never in my life been a runner. I just know that when I am out walking, I am compelled to start jogging, then full stop running, until I can’t anymore. Then I resume my walk/jog and start all over again. Two things; I feel better pushing myself and my walks are now a whole lot quicker #gratitude.

Perhaps you are doing some things differently this holiday? Perhaps you have also gotten into some new habits after we got shook up this year? I think everyone has probably cleaned out a basement, garage or closet by now. And it feels good to donate or just give things away we no longer use but could be so helpful to someone else right now #gratitude.

Has anyone grown their hair during the shutdown expressly to get it cut and donated to Locks of Love or some other organization that increases self-esteem by providing human hair wigs for those who have lost their hair due to cancer? #gratitude

I guess what this is all about is scanning this vexing year and finding those nuggets that I am truly thankful for, of which there are many, including you. Thank you for following me and Happy Thanksgiving to your and your family #gratitude

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