2020 has been a rough year, to put it mildly. As we gather, in person or virtually, around our tables this Thanksgiving having an “attitude of gratitude” can be difficult. Some of us are in impossible situations and

As I reflect, I have come to realize that what I am most grateful for through this year is the ability to choose. To make the active choice of whether to think realistically or irrationally, to choose to engage in or disengage from media, to behave by fear or optimism. I have not been perfect by a long shot, however knowing a choice exists brings peace of mind. Below are some of the choices I am most grateful to have made:

  • To spend time outside in nature during the pandemic, breathing in fresh air rather than stagnating indoors.
  • To reach out to friends and family more than usual.
  • To largely avoid social media and the dreaded “doom scrolling” effect.
  • To spend more time with my wife and children and less time with my phone.
  • To mentally transition from work to home and home to work before arriving.
  • To have made plans and decisions during the shutdown from the pandemic.
  • To have chosen (more often than not) to look forward rather than to be mired in the current circumstances.
  • To choose to give thanks over harboring resentments against conditions out of my control.

Choice is power. Even when we feel we have very few options, we can always choose our mental approach to a situation. For this, I remain grateful.

Also, I am just plain thankful for my amazing wife and children, incredible co-workers – Dr. Barbara WarrenSarah O’Donnell, LISW, PMH-C and Charity Stephens and the wonderfully supportive and vibrant local Powell community.