Thanksgiving is, hands down, my favorite holiday. What would we do without the food, friends, and family traditions that remind us who we are, who we love, and where we come from*? This is true even as we work to safely navigate this pandemic holiday season. Perhaps even more true.
To me, the best part about Thanksgiving is that it slows us down a little. It invites us to pause and think about what we mean to each other. Thanksgiving puts a speed bump in front of us, and asks: what are you grateful for*?
Especially this year.
(* I am keenly aware that, above, I chose to end two sentences with a preposition, which is clearly verboten. But who actually says “from where we come” or “for what are you grateful”??? I’ll tell you who: my terrifyingly strict 7th grade English teacher, Mean Mrs. Harper (that’s what the kids called her). She would be giving me a stern look right now were she reading this email. Clearly, she got in my head. But even that makes my point: after I shiver a little bit, I am grateful for Mean Mrs. Harper and her tireless efforts to help me appear slightly less stupid.)
The Hard Parts Lead To The Good Stuff
To say this year has been strange, scary, stressful, sad, disruptive and “unprecedented” is an extreme understatement. 2020 put 50 pounds of crazy into a 5 pound bag. Honestly, if there were ever a year for a legitimate downgrade in gratitude, it could be 2020.
But despite all the hardship, and maybe even because of it, I genuinely believe we have so much to be grateful for. I am not being trite or irrationally optimistic here. There are times when you have to break through the hard parts to get to the good stuff. Lurking right behind every one of our global, national, local and highly personal catastrophes is the possibility for transformation. For real, desperately needed learning and adaptation. For healing. For deeper, more authentic connection. For new, better ways forward.
My point: we’ve all had our asses kicked this year, y’all. But we are coming back — changed and stronger. And for those of us who managed to avoid most of the hard stuff, that just gives us the opportunity to help others who are less fortunate. And that is a gift too.
What am I grateful for?
This Thanksgiving, there will be a moment — probably at our dinner table, right before we dig in — when I will breathe in, look down at my plate, and then make a toast of very real, deep gratitude for the following:
- For my family and friends: the people who know me and love me anyway
- For my incredible team of IDers: I could not be more honored to work with a better crew
- For our clients, prospects and partners: you give us our purpose, our calling, our reason to show up strong and grow together — thank you for that
A huge toast of gratitude,