Season of Thanksgiving
In 1621, the Plymouth Colonists and the Wampanoag Native Americans shared what has become known to all Americans as Thanksgiving! But it wasn’t until 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a National Holiday. Now, Thanksgiving is celebrated on various dates around the world by countries around the world, including Brazile, Canada, Liberia, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and of course — the United States.
Thanksgiving 2020 will be a lot different for most of us this year, as the Coronavirus spikes all around the country. What normally has been a day full of in-person celebrations with family, friends, amazing food and football — this Thanksgiving we’ll likely be outside, socially distant, and hopefully wearing face masks.
For my family, we’ll have a quiet day at home, although missing our immediate family, as we haven’t seen them outside of Facetime and Zoom in almost a year! But rather than dwell on the loved ones we miss and the potential negatives we are all experiencing right now, we have chosen to enter a Season of Thanksgiving!
What is a Season of Thanksgiving? Well, for me and my family, it’s being actively committed to looking at all the things that each of us are thankful for, day by day, and all the things that are going well in our lives right now. It’s being committed to looking for bright spots of thanksgiving each and every day throughout the holiday season and beyond.
Entering a season of thanksgiving starts with consciously changing our mindset. I know this sounds cliche, but let me give you an example. For years, our family has enjoyed the early morning, Black Friday shopping excursion. We’d plan out our game plan the day before, which shops we wanted to hit and when, set our alarms, and off we’d go at 4:00 AM every year. It’s something my daughter really enjoys — and as crazy as Black Friday is, we’ve had a lot of fun doing it over the years. But this year, it’s just not the right decision for our family to be out and about in crowds, but we’re still going to do our shopping tradition — just from the comfort of our couch!
You see — we changed our outlook on our circumstances. Rather than be disappointed about not being able to go out, we’re actually excited about how we are going to spend part of the day looking for the best deals online and enjoying our tradition in a new way. If the weather is nice, we’ll spend part of the day in the great outdoors. It’s still going to be a fun day, it’ll just start a few hours later than normal and won’t be filled with crazy shoppers pushing and shoving for the best deal on the latest tech gadget. It will be a day filled with mandatory family fun time and a lot of love to go around.
Our excitement for thanksgiving is a choice. It was our choice as a family to focus on the light in our lives this year, and my hope is that you will make a similar choice for you and your family. Though it may not seem like it, especially right now, each and every day, we all have something to be thankful for, if we keep our eyes open and we’re on the lookout for blessings. I promise you, there is something you can and should be thankful for today, right now.
Back in March of this year, I wrote a column titled, “Lead with Gratitude,” and by a large margin, that piece has become my most successful article! The number of people that reached out, commented on it, and shared it was truly amazing — and I think that outpouring in itself shows that our world is primed for gratitude, even right now, perhaps especially now as we wade through a confusing, tumultuous year.
So, let my practice here be an example to you: I’m thankful for each of you! I’m thankful to Rob for this platform to share my thoughts, ideas, and opinions with each of you. I’m thankful for all of you who read it and reach out. I’m thankful for all the new people I’ve met and the connections I’ve made during this crazy time, that I likely wouldn’t have reached out to ! It would take up a lot of space for me to list them all, but WOW, I’ve had the honor to meet some truly amazing people in the past 8 months — people I very likely would never have met if it weren’t for our crazy circumstances and all the time I’ve spent online this year.
I’m thankful for the courage I had to start a podcast in March and for all the incredibly knowledgeable guests that joined me for this first season — some I knew and some I didn’t, but all had great insights, ideas, leadership, and valuable information to share with our listeners.
I’m thankful for my team for hanging in there with me during these tough times — as they are tough for everyone! I’m thankful for our clients. I’m thankful for the many amazing conversations I’ve had about what the future looks like — and I’m excited for the chance to choose where we go next.
At first, it may feel like it’s impossible to find something to be grateful for right now, but if you look around and truly look for the value and beauty around you, you’ll find that we each have so much to be thankful for. If we focus on that, all of our lives will be better. After all, the old saying goes, “A happy heart is good medicine!”
So, in these few days before Thanksgiving 2020, I challenge you and welcome you to join me and my family and enter a Season of Thanksgiving! Please visit my blog at ww.sidmeadows.com/blog and let me know what you are thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving!