"Loss as muse. Loss as character. Loss as life." Anna Quindlen
As Thanksgiving leftovers were finally packaged and stored and the last load of dishes was cycling, we treated ourselves to a little quiet time. Reflecting on how much we enjoyed hosting our family and how grateful we are for our health and all of the wonderful people in our lives, we spent a little time just appreciating all that is good. And, while we frequently give thanks, we realize that we could be just a tad more grateful. So we vowed to intentionally practice more gratitude for we are surrounded with so much wonder and so many blessings.
We missed family members who were not able to join us… siblings, nieces, nephews, and cousins. We missed our niece's husband, Peter, a Marine, who is deployed. We appreciate his service to our Nation, and the service of hundreds of thousands of other young men and women who also missed Thanksgiving with their families.
We missed family members who had passed. We fondly remember sharing Thanksgiving feasts when they were with us. We missed the traditional long walks at the family farm to earn, or work off, our Thanksgiving desserts.
Brother Joe, who could not be with us, shared Thanksgiving reflections with the family by e-mail. He reminded us of his son, Jim's, favorite way of thinking about being born in the United States. Jim puts it this way. If you are an American, you were born on 3rd base. And, you didn't have to hit a triple to get there. It's so easy to lose track of that blessing.
Joe challenged us to find ways to be thankful amidst trials and difficulties. As humans, we all experience loss, problems, disappointments, exhaustion, and fear on a fairly frequent basis. Today might be tough for you. You might feel dread or anxiety about the days to come. You might find yourself thinking if only I could get through this challenge or that situation. Once this deal is done, once this project is behind me, once this class is over…wishing your moments away. By the way, those moments are your life. Don't wish them away. Don't waste them.
But what about all the other stuff that happens to us, through us and around us? The stuff we don't like. The stuff that impacts us or those we care about in harsh ways? Can we find a way to be thankful in and around those circumstances? And, if so, how might that benefit us and those we love and care about?
This year we made a Thanksgiving Resolution. We resolved to be more tuned in and appreciative of the many blessings surrounding us. We further resolved to be grateful in the more difficult times which most surely surround us. Please consider joining us in accepting Brother Joe's Thanksgiving Challenge.
"Do not weep. Do not wax indignant. Understand." Baruch Spinoza
Your Coaching Challenge, Should You Choose to Accept It:
When, not if, you have bad days, weeks, months or years, can you find a way to celebrate your very own Personal Thanksgiving? Can you stop, and be thankful for the circumstances? Can you step back and ask for grace and wisdom? Can you remember that asking for help is a true form of strength?