Personal Essay

Giving Thanks…

Thanksgiving comes around every year and I look forward to celebrating with my family and friends. Of course, this year was so different for everyone. The last few years have been years of great change for my husband and I. We retired and moved last year. We went on our first overseas trip to Ireland and Scotland last year. (I highly recommend a trip to both of these countries when life returns to normal.) And we left our daughter enjoying life, behind in the town that we’d lived in for the past sixteen years. And I finished my first book.

Right after we’d celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary, Covid19 happened. Or rather, we all found out about it. The years 2019 & 2020 will go down as monumental years in our family. Besides the pandemic, these will be years we will not forget as a family. And not one of us will ever forget what we were doing in 2020 now. As we go forward, the decisions we make now are so important to us an individuals, to our family and friends, and to the entire world.

When we made the decision to buy a small business eighteen years ago now, it felt like we’d jumped off a tall cliff without a parachute. We left job security, a wonderful place to live, and moved into the unknown world of small business ownership. But we wanted to be home and Florida was not home. So we headed off into the sunset on my husband’s 50th birthday in two cars with my mother-in-law who tried to pack my entire house and our big, fluffy dog. Off to new adventures, but also back home to our families. My Dad would be an hour one way and his Mom would be an hour in the other direction. Our new business was located in Raleigh, right between our two living parents. Our daughter at the time was happy to leave the Orlando rat race, so we settled into our new lives and worked hard to grow our business. Which brings me back to that giving of thanks…

Even as we wrestle with this pandemic, and it’s tested us in ways we couldn’t have imagined in 2019, I am thankful. I’m thankful for my husband, my daughter, and my extended family and friends. I couldn’t have made it through this year without a single one of them. I’m thankful that there are vaccines on the horizon. I’m thankful for the people who are helping us all make it through this from the first responders, to the doctors, nurses and hospitals, to the grocery store clerks, teachers, and vet techs. I’m thankful to so many people.

As I go forward into 2021, I’m hopeful once again. Tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us as the saying goes, but I’m still optimistic that good things and normalcy are just waiting around the corner for the world to catch up. I’m thankful for my husband and daughter who have kept me sane. And Zoom for the time with friends I couldn’t see in person. And the authors of the books that I’ve read for giving me a way to escape reality for a short time. And I’m even thankful for the rejections from the agents that I’ve queried so far, because at least I have proof that they got my first manuscript. And they’re giving me encouragement to go on, even if they don’t know it.

So we all have things to be thankful for, in our hard years and in our joyful years. The cycle of life continues. None of us know what tomorrow holds, but I’m thankful for today and all the days that have passed, good and bad. They’re proof that I’ve lived, and loved, and I’m still here. I give thanks for all I’ve been blessed with – my home, my life, my family, my friends, and my health and I wish the same for everyone. I plan to be kind, I have so much to be thankful for.

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