Gratitude in An Age of Chaos

give thanks and eat pie sign

It’s easy to slip into a mindset of despair in a year like the one we’re having, but if we can manage to pause and refocus, we can still find gratitude.

In my fifty-one years on this rock, I have never felt as close to the edge of total chaos as I have in 2020. I won’t go down the list of contributing factors, but I will say I often find myself reaching out (figuratively and actually), to grab something to steady myself, blinking my eyes furiously to refocus. Time slows to a snail’s pace, but then I look up from whatever I’m working on and a month is gone. Summer is gone. Winter is just about here.

Volatility has become such a constant in our culture, the institutions came up with an index to measure it, and funds that track it allow you to invest your money in it! Let that sink in for a minute.

Still, as frenetic as life can be in these increasingly strange days, there is room for gratitude in the chaos.

One of my very close friends reminded me in a dark moment of mine that somebody in this world always has it worse than you.

We talk about needing a new car, or needing new clothes, or needing a bigger house when many in the world walk ten miles a day to carry buckets of water back from a dirty hole for their family. Children go to bed hungry, not across the ocean, but right here in America. People live in tar paper shacks crammed with a dozen family members. People live in war-torn countries with zero infrastructure. THAT is chaos. If you pray, pray for those people. We don’t need most of the things we think we need. We need clean air and water. We need food and shelter. And we need love and companionship.

While it has felt like we were descending into chaos at different points this year, I’m so very grateful for so many things. I’m grateful to live in a part of the world that has clean air and water, and low virus numbers. I’m grateful to have had my first problem-free colonoscopy. I’m grateful for having had some extra time with my two children living in my house during the pandemic, and to see my son again tomorrow after the longest stretch of time I’ve ever been away from him. I’m grateful to have grown up with parents who also had parents that taught them to be kind others, no matter what they look like or their position in life. I’m grateful for the love of my family because everybody needs family y’all. I’m grateful for the dedicated and brilliant people I work with, and I’m grateful for the trust and confidence of our clients.

This year, without travel, I will eat the much maligned tin can molded cranberry sauce that has so much sugar it makes my teeth squeak while I watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, thinking of my grandparents who used to watch it with me every year in The Bronx. And yes, there will be a parade – one more thing to be grateful for this year.

With much gratitude, we at QLC wish you all a safe, healthy, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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