How can anyone possibly give thanks in 2020? Those were my initial thoughts when I was trying to figure out what to be thankful for this year, which is an annual Thanksgiving tradition.
To stay positive, which increases productivity, I’m a big proponent of daily reflections about “wins” or accomplishments – no matter how big or small. What did you get done today? What did you accomplish? What forward progress did you make? I preach that time management is all about mind management, so this type of reflection is an important component of productivity in order to keep your brain – and, therefore, you – motivated to keep plugging away.
But being thankful is different. And while I’ve been thankful for little occurrences here and there, I’ve come to the realization that I haven’t been truly cognizant of giving thanks throughout the year for some big ticket items.
At first glance, I’ve been angry, frustrated and depressed about 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic changed life as we know it. We have to think about masks and distancing and staying away from people coughing, sneezing or talking animatedly (you know, to avoid those virus droplets). No family gatherings for special occasions. No visiting family just because. No gathering with friends. I had four scary months of zero inquiries about coaching, consulting or presenting seminars. To top all of that off, my husband has had medical issues. One of our dogs had medical issues. We couldn’t travel like we normally do. I was diagnosed with a lung disease and started a year-long medication therapy.
My husband and I live for summer travel (cancelled) and food and wine pairings (no drinking for me for one year). Those are a big part of who we are, and they were taken away. I would visit my parents (now just my dad) two to three times per year. And I couldn’t do that either.
So, yeah, 2020 has been downright lousy.
But despite that, I know I have so much to be thankful for. Despite our medical misadventures this year, my husband and I are in overall good health. He still has a job with benefits. I still have my business and am just about back to pre-COVID levels. Our family members have either escaped COVID or were unaffected when they tested positive. We have people in our lives who are there for us. We have a roof over our heads. We have food on our table. We are blessed.
Think about what you’ve overcome in 2020. What can you give thanks for?
And don’t be shy about giving thanks more than once per year.