I am researching another piece on COVID 19, but looking at my publication date, I realized that a timelier piece would be about this holiday.
My spiritual practice (which is a fancy way of saying prayer), is to light a candle before sunrise and reflect on what I am grateful for. It is a great way for me to focus on the positives in my life. (Although I will admit in my more grumpy or anxious mornings, it is a short recitation.) I have also found that I have to discipline myself not to suggest an improvement (for example, “I am grateful for the sunshine of this morning, but it would be EVEN BETTER if it were warmer.”) As we used to say in business, everything before the “but” is bull*&%!.
This practice makes it easy to write a column about gratitude on Thanksgiving.
Here is a partial list:
- I am grateful for the warm and loving embrace of my family. I walk taller, I smile more, knowing that anytime things get rough, I can find peace and joy in the warm cocoon of their unconditional love.
- I am grateful for my daughter, who has blossomed into a beautiful spirit, incorporating all her father’s best traits. Her father would be proud.
- I am grateful for past loves, past joys, memories, past mistakes, and past mentors who have guided me.
- I am grateful to have known and loved those people and animals that I have lost.
- I am grateful for my friends, new and longtime, all of whom I can depend upon at anytime and who allow me to give the same support in return.
- I am grateful for this election, which will bring stability to the White House. I am especially grateful to those who voted for the country over their personal agenda; and others who refuse to be sucked into baseless conspiracy theories about the electoral system when their candidate didn’t win.
- I am grateful for my furry COVID companions, who seem to be unphased by the pandemic.
- I am grateful for health care workers, transportation personnel, teachers, and all those who put themselves at risk to save others and keep the country going.
- I am grateful for science and the scientists who have been working tirelessly to save us.
- I am grateful for technology that allows us to remain close even when we cannot be.
- I am grateful for citizens who do their part to curtail the spread of the disease.
- But most of all, I am grateful for people with open hearts, who think of what to give before they consider what to receive. Every one of you is a blessing and may your hearts be overflowing with gifts of love.
It is not a bad list for such a terrible year.
Angela Rieck, a Caroline County native, received her PhD in Mathematical Psychology from the University of Maryland and worked as a scientist at Bell Labs, and other high-tech companies in New Jersey before retiring as a corporate executive. Angela and her dogs divide their time between St Michaels and Key West Florida. Her daughter lives and works in New York City.