This year there will only be two of us for Thanksgiving dinner in the USA. I’m struggling to find something for which to be thankful. It’s been such a stressful year!
My little French Grandmother used to say, “When you think there is nothing to be thankful for, that is the time to choose to be grateful about something.” In the main, she practiced that, too. Neurobiologically, gratitude is right up there with awe and wonder and the benefits are myriad. Doctors have pointed out that when you pause to appreciate and show caring and compassion, the more order and coherence you experience internally. When your heart is in an ‘internal coherence state,’ studies suggest that you enjoy the capacity to be peaceful and calm yet retain the ability to respond appropriately to stressful circumstances. So what makes Thanksgiving Day more unique than any other day? Think of it as being dedicated to reminding us to be grateful. On this day I pause to be specifically grateful for those individuals who love me enough to give me quality time throughout the year by phone, text, email, snail mail—and sometimes in person (how deliciously rewarding). I refer to them as my ‘family-of-choice’ because a gift of time is a personal choice. It is the only thing your brain can give another brain that no one else can. For quality time I am truly grateful. And even in the midst of the chaos of 2020, quality time can be by zoom, phone, email, text—and sometimes in person . . . Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, my wish for you is that you both give and receive the gift of ‘quality time.’