Thinking About Gratitude

Nov 19, 2020

Next week, many of us will celebrate Thanksgiving in a different way than usual. Many of us will gather in smaller numbers, or perhaps will not be physically present with those we love.

When I receive a call from someone who wants to know more about divorce mediation, I often hear, “I’ve never done this (get divorced) before, so I’m not sure what I am supposed to do.” We’ve never lived through a pandemic before, so aren’t we faced with this same dilemma?

Do being isolated and forced to experience Thanksgiving differently somehow suppress our spirit of gratitude? I hope not.

Do being isolated and forced to experience Thanksgiving differently somehow suppress our spirit of gratitude? I hope not.

Like many, I am thankful for the daily sacrifices of those who must work outside their homes, being exposed to Covid-19 in their workplaces and potentially exposing their families and loved ones—doctors, nurses and other health care professionals, police, firefighters, ambulance workers, teachers, grocery workers, and all others whose work is considered “essential” to our well-being.

For every step taken to create a better place for all, where opportunity and love abound, I am grateful—for every random act of kindness and efforts to “pay it forward,” to look out for one another, to acknowledge and address injustice and inequality.

I’m grateful for my mentors and trainers who have given me the tools to help others navigate the transition of divorce through dialogue and creativity. And to recognize that I was called into this profession to help others move forward with their lives.

Thank you to the clients I work with in divorce mediation and collaborative divorce cases. You have the courage to do what most people cannot—to be open and vulnerable enough to work toward a more noble result that allows for greater dignity.

I’m thankful to be trusted to help you both move through this passage into the next chapter of your life’s journey. Your courage is a gift that allows me to make a difference in the lives of others.

Whatever your plans, whatever pain and uncertainty you are facing right now, and in spite of the incredibly trying times we are living in, I hope you will have the opportunity to look within and find your own feelings of gratitude.

A comment struck me in a recent interview with Michael J. Fox, the famous actor who has suffered for many years with Parkinson’s disease. He said, “With gratitude, optimism becomes sustainable.” Here’s hoping that, in finding and expressing our gratitude, we can fuel optimism to carry us through the challenges of the present moment.

My best Thanksgiving wishes to all!