So, ready or not, the holidays are upon us. I really didn’t want to turn this into the traditional Thanksgiving “what are you thankful for” narrative…but after the last couple of years that we have had, I would be remiss if I didn’t pause and acknowledge how truly thankful and blessed I…we…have been and continue to be.
I always try to learn from trials. The last twenty months have certainly been just that. And, I also always try to instill the same principles in my children…turning trials into life lessons.
I called my kids into my room and asked “Kids, what is something that because of COVID, you are thankful for?” With an extreme puzzled look on their faces, my son said “What in the world would we be thankful for because of COVID!?!” he exclaimed. “Well, getting to spend more time with family, or getting to slow down for a little bit, or making new memories that maybe we wouldn’t have made otherwise.” I explained.
Their faces became even more puzzled, almost disgusted with my reply. Silence from both of them. After staring at each other for a few seconds and realizing my “teachable moment” speech was useless, I sent them on their way. “What kind of answer did I really expect from a 7 or 8 year old” I thought to myself as they walked out the bedroom door.
Still on this notion of “thankfulness” during COVID, I turned to my trusted team of staff at BVT to obtain their perspective of lessons learned during the last 20 months. Several of the responses were both touching and revealing of the joys and heartaches over the last 20 months.
This is just a small glimpse into some of the responses received:
- COVID has made me realize I am most thankful for ___________________.
- My relationship with God
- Time with family and friends
- Being able to serve our very special people at BVT and to have a job that isn’t a task…its rewarding
- The extra time it gave me to spend with family and on fun projects when quarantined at home.
- Another day here on earth.
- COVID made me realize I took ________________ for granted (before the pandemic).
- My mother being around
- Life, putting stuff on hold instead of living in the moment – we do not know what tomorrow holds.
- The little things – spontaneous outings, hugs, toilet paper.
- My ability to positively affect the health of others.
- Going out to events, family gatherings, and most of all Church.
- Time! We don’t have all the time in the world! Tell people how you feel, mend broken relationships! Spend it on things you love.
- Normal daily routine
- The greatest life lesson I learned during the COVID pandemic was __________________.
- Don’t always trust what you hear on the news networks
- To never put off seeing and spending time with the people you love
- Don’t not live for today and wish it was tomorrow.
- How much we can bend without breaking.
- It’s not about me—it must start with me protecting others
- How lucky I am to work with this team, to have a job where I can serve others
- That we as humans are a lot stronger than I thought. The last two years have been tough on the whole world, and somehow, we continue to push forward.
- We must all work together, pray together, and love one another as brothers and sisters in order to survive.
- Being patient
- You can slow down and everything will be ok. You don’t have to rush everything.
- It’s ok to feel sad for a minute – have your pity party, but then get to WORK! 🙂
- To slow down and try to be more present in the moment.
- To live life to the fullest and love those around you.
- Not to allow anyone or anything, not even myself, be a thief to my joy.
- My trust/faith in _______________ grew during COVID.
- The kindness of others. (I’ve seen more people step up than I have seen step out.)
- The healthcare system
- Faith in humanity grew! So many people helped other people!
- God, the creator of the universe. COVID has been hard but to KNOW and REST in the fact that He still sits on His thrown with a plan for the world He created and for His children. May His will be done.
- What I missed most during COVID was _____________.
- Seeing my family.
- Family vacation, holidays with family
- Getting to go places, events, gatherings.
- Our freedom to go anywhere and do things that we took for granted before COVID.
- Being able to hug people and see their faces.
- Seeing smiling faces without mask
Wow…What an incredible perspective.
And probably most of all for me, as it relates to this notion of thankfulness during COVID:
- Being a witness to the goodness of humanity, specifically those supporting our residents and fellow colleagues as we navigate through uncharted waters.
- The support of another human being.
- Understanding that at some point, we are all going to need the help of someone else – and watching someone step up to be there in that “someone’s” time of need.
- Watching the love and care of our staff providing for residents in their times of need.
- Witnessing firsthand the long hours (and days) of work to ensure each person is well cared for (both residents and staff).
And maybe most importantly, that even though life can get hard, we can do hard things.
Friends, COVID has stolen so many things from our lives. Don’t let it steal your joy, happiness, or gratefulness.
So whatever it is your facing this Thanksgiving season, may you use this as a reminder to keep your perspective in check, and remember good does exists…sometimes you just have to look a little deeper.
Until next time,