Is There Anything To Actually Be Thankful For?

A Letter From The Heart

Thousands upon thousands of people are sick. The number of deaths continues to grow minute by minute. Hospitals are overflowing. Businesses are struggling. The unemployment rate continues to climb, and the stock market continues to fall. Families everywhere are going into lockdown in homes that are beginning to feel too small. Stress and anxiety rise as concerns for health, finances, and the future weighs heavy upon hearts around the globe. This, and more, caused by a virus many of us didn’t even know about four months ago. Article after article, interview after interview, Facebook post after Facebook post. All pointing out the dark cloud that has crept in on us as a society, blocking all light.

As I sit here today, unknowing and worried about what tomorrow may hold, I begin to see why people feel helpless. Overcome with the drive to act, but the thought that nothing can be done. While looking at this blank word document on my computer, I wonder, “Is there actually anything to be thankful for?”  How silly is it of me to ask myself that question, when all I have to do to find the answer is look around the room I’m sitting in? It seems, or sometimes I am told, that the person who is struck with this question, “Is there anything to be thankful for,” is often the one most unable to see the answer. Or is it that we just refuse to look?

I decided to give it a try. I asked myself, “Is there actually anything to be thankful for?” And then I looked around.

The first thing I saw was the freshly fallen snow that accumulated in the front yard. I mean, I didn’t really want snow in late March… The snow came anyway though, and with it, came a sense of cozy comfort that you can’t find in the spring. Yesterday’s not-so-green grass is now covered by a beautiful layer of white. I am thankful for this subtle reminder that dullness can be transformed into beautiful brightness in the blink of an eye.

I am thankful for the notification that interrupted my train of thought, reminding me of a FaceTime call with my team. At a time when we’re all locked in our homes with little social interaction, it is so refreshing to see their faces. To catch up on their lives. To connect.

I’m thankful that my team and I have a company to work for. Every day, people are being laid-off or losing their jobs completely. Many businesses are closing their doors not knowing if they will reopen. I think back on the mornings I laid in bed, alarm ringing, wanting nothing more than to go back to sleep. The ring I once dreaded brings on a whole different feeling now.

I am thankful for the food I see when I open the pantry doors. Among the list of reasons for me to worry, hunger is not one of them.

I am thankful for my support system; my family and my friends that show me love every day. The reminders each day that they care.

I am thankful for my sister-in-law and everyone else working in the hospital with her, fighting this virus head-on. These people are leaving their families behind to protect and care for our communities. Risking their health for the sake of ours.

I am thankful for the grocery store workers. Those still going into offices. Government officials. The restaurant workers. Those growing our food and those transporting it. The people making hard decisions every day for the betterment of their employees, their families, and society as a whole. I am thankful for the blankets I lay under and the bed I lay on. I’m thankful for my health. I’m thankful for love. I am thankful for the overcoming of fear and the coming together of people. I am thankful for the tears. I am thankful for music. I am thankful for laughter and how healing it can be. I am thankful to play an itty-bitty role in this huge, magnificent world.

In looking around for things to be thankful for, I found all of this and then some. I found these bits of light breaking through the clouds. Even more importantly though, I discovered something else. I discovered a light that needed to be shared.

You may read my list above and see all of the same things I do, or you may see more. However, there are thousands of people reading this that don’t see all of that, and some that won’t see any. They don’t have food or a job or a family to be thankful for. They may not have laughter. They may not even have a place to sleep tonight. That is why it’s important to come together now to love and support one another.

I believe that today, more than ever before, people are asking themselves that question. “Is there actually anything to be thankful for?” It is in times like this that the answers are harder to see. For some, it may be impossible to find that shred of light through the thick dark clouds.

If you are someone lucky enough to see it, please do your best to spread that light. Share a beautiful message. Buy canned foods to donate. Post a goofy video. Purchase a gift card from a local business that is suffering. Remind yourself, as often as possible, of the things you have to be thankful for.

Collect those little reminders that break up your clouds, then share that light with others.

Tomorrow is unknown and there isn’t much we can do right now to make a huge impact, but there are a few things you can do.

Be the light the world needs.
When you see good, share it.
When you see a need for love, give it.
And when you feel like the clouds are moving in, and your light is beginning to fade, please remember this: You can borrow mine.

You have so much to contribute to this world; sometimes we just need help to see it. For you, and all of your light, I am thankful.

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