Charles Dickens is said to have proclaimed that we are backwards. He said something along the lines of: We should be thankful 364 days a year and set aside one day to complain. I think that is something to consider. While Thanksgiving is a nice day to be grateful for my many blessings – an incredible family that loves me, a challenging job that pushes me to be better every day, a community that provides all I need including 10,220 students to educate, a body that is healthy, a mind that works (most of the time), and on and on – shouldn’t I take a moment to be grateful every day?
Care Coordinator Mikie Messman, reminded participants in her PIR stress workshop last year, that the mindset of gratitude has many positive emotional and physical health benefits. She gave us a little card that says “GRATITUDE.” I keep it on my desk as a reminder because as set forth in a November 2010 article in The Wall Street Journal:
Adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who do not, according to studies conducted over the past decade. They’re also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy, or alcoholics. They earn more money, sleep more soundly, exercise more regularly, and have greater resistance to viral infections. (Melinda Beck, “Thank You. No, Thank You,” The Wall Street Journal, November 23, 2010)
I want all of those things the research says is possible. So please let me tell you that I am grateful for each of you and for what you do for our kids, our community and our future. I also challenge you to remember, as you enjoy this time to recharge your batteries and to sit down to your feast, to be thankful, to express gratitude for the blessings in your life, and then to continue that gratitude for the remaining 364 days of the year.
Take care. Stay safe. Be well.