Do you find yourself feeling a good “Woe is me!” coming on as you contemplate experiencing a Thanksgiving Day celebration quite different from what you’d hoped for? Maybe you’d even made plans to travel to be with family, only to make a last-minute choice to remain in your home or apartment and celebrate it here. I can understand why you might be feeling any one of a number of feelings, particularly if you live alone.

Disappointed. Sad. Maybe angry as you begin to ruminate on some “if only” thoughts like “If only people had not been so quick to rush back to the restaurants and bars and other large gatherings!” “If only…” You can fill in the blanks with your own thoughts.

Or perhaps you’re feeling guilty or worried because you have distant family members that are being impacted by the COVID19 pandemic. An adult child or grandchild that is dealing with the strain of remote versus in-school classes while the parents, who may be teachers or healthcare workers or hold any number of different positions that the rest of us depend upon to be there to support our daily living in this present time, struggle with the conflicting demands of family and a job or career.

And now there’s the excitement, yet uncertainty, about the new vaccines that are being promised by some to be “just a few weeks away!” With it comes more questions. Who’s going to get it first? Am I going to be one of the lucky ones? Do I really want to have a vaccine that I don’t know that much about? How much will it cost and will it be covered by Medicare or my other insurance?

What if you could be offered a vaccine that’s free and has a lifetime guarantee? Well, here’s a suggestion and you don’t need to go to any doctor’s office, clinic, or pharmacy to get it!

Just sit down, become quiet, and begin to bring to mind, and then write down, all the things in your life that you’re grateful for! Start with the very breath of life that we each have through the Grace of God. Are you able to breathe easily? Consider the thousands of people around the world right now that are finding it almost impossible to breathe, that are perhaps on a ventilator. Those of us who aren’t are pretty fortunate, right?

How about the three-meals-a-day you get to eat? Maybe even the luxury to be able to eat some of those meals out at a nice restaurant. From what I’m seeing on the news, there are long, long lines of people and families having to wait in lines for hours in order to get a bag or two of groceries being supplied by food banks and churches that are committed to serving those in need. Offhand, I’d say any of us who aren’t having to do that are pretty fortunate, wouldn’t you agree?

Do you have family and friends you can still talk to and Facebook with on your iPhone or iPad or see via Skype or Zoom? How about the ones you have that you haven’t spoken to in a while? Are there memories you have with them for which you’re grateful? So maybe they’d like to hear from you because they’re alone and maybe feeling a bit lonely.

And what about those who once seemed like thorns in your side? But when you dug inside to remove them, healing followed and now you can see how they offered a gift that served to change your life. Did you ever acknowledge that?

Are you among those fortunate enough to still have a partner, spouse or significant other living with you? Bring them to mind and allow yourself to mentally list all the reasons you have to be so grateful they are in your life. Have you perhaps slipped into taking some things for granted or maybe just haven’t told them recently how much you appreciate them? Now’s a great time to do that. Who knows? It might lead to even more reasons to appreciate their being in your life!

Look around your apartment or home. Walk through each room and just take in all the abundance and prosperity that’s in your life. Really walk around slowly, like you’d walk a labyrinth, and allow yourself to see each item in the room, remember something about it, who gave it to you or the circumstances of its coming into your possession. Look at the photos and allow them to awaken your memory of wonderful times.

How do you feel now? Perhaps better prepared and fortified to be at peace with what is? I hope so. I know I am, just by simply writing these sentences and experiencing the walk through all the reasons I have to be grateful.

Are things all exactly the way I’d like them to be? No, but all things considered, I am blessed and so I am here to be a blessing for others. I’m ready to do what is mine to do next. How about you? I truly hope so, for together we can change the world. By you doing what is yours to do and I doing what I am called to do. How simple and sweet is that!

Now have a blessed and joy-filled Thanksgiving where ever you are.

Namaste, Steve