Thanksgiving 2020

A Thanksgiving like you’d never imagine. Will your festive dinner be shared with family and friends on Zoom or FaceTime or some other vehicle for live communication?

And how are you feeling about the world situation right now? Remember the days when there were jokes about Thanksgiving dinners with conflicting political party attendees? Well, those can practically be considered “the good ‘ol days.” Things are a little more amped than I ever could have imagined.

On a personal note, I’ll be celebrating something I never thought possible: surviving COVID-19 … just one week ago. Close your eyes and imagine someone saying over the phone that you have tested positive for the virus. Can you picture how terrifyingly wrong that must have sounded?

I’m a super careful person, some might say anal, when it comes to staying protected from the virus because I’m in a high danger bracket with multiple risk factors, including Type 2 diabetes. I just knew that if I caught the virus I’d be a goner for sure, so I was extremely cautious.

But I did get it, and I think my exposure came the first week of this month when I downsized into an independent living complex. The movers did their thing on an uncharacteristically warm day and were perspiring and huffing and puffing – some of that time with masks only dangling from their ears. But I kept my mask on and stayed apart. I didn’t, however, “hose” down everything before I began unpacking.

The days that followed my diagnosis were bizarre. I surprised myself by calmly getting things in order. I actually felt grateful for having time to tie up a few loose ends in my estate. Gratitude surfaced throughout the ensuing days because I never felt ill, in fact, I remained asymptomatic throughout the entire quarantine period. I felt so good, I was incredulous. How could I not succumb with all my risk factors? Conversations with health professionals reassured me it was definitely possible. I was supported throughout this experience by COVID teams from both the County Public Health Department and by my health care provider, Kaiser Permanente Hospital.

In the ensuring days I have been overwhelmed with gratitude. My perspective on people, politics, and all that small stuff has changed. Nothing like facing a life-threatening illness to make one give thanks.

May your circumstances, whatever they are, allow for a pause long enough to celebrate with gratitude all that makes your life worth living.

May this and all holidays remind you of things to be grateful for now and in the future.