Thanksgiving, 2020, will be unlike any other Thanksgiving. Governors are urging families to stay apart, Traveling is discouraged, and hosting a large group of relatives or friends is not recommended. COVID 19 has made 2020 a sad and lonely year for many people. I hope we all can forget this year soon.
Despite the COVID and restrictions, I am still choosing to give thanks and show gratitude. I felt the power of gratitude very profoundly when my husband was ill and after my husband died. I felt very stuck in sadness. Scott was slowly dying from stage 4 colon cancer for 29 months. We had heartbreaking conversations in the wee hours, where he would whisper, "I don't want to leave you" and I would whisper back, "We have a new treatment plan. We have to believe." We both knew he was going to die; he had already lived past his projected 12 month life expectancy, but neither of us could face that conversation. For 29 months, I put on a happy face and pretended my husband was going to live, and he did the same. Eventually, we did have that final conversation, but we did the best we could to hold each other up. During those 29 months, we often spoke about how fortunate we were. We discussed various facets of our lives and childhoods, as well as friendships and experiences we enjoyed. In some ways, we were living certain moments over again, and remembering, and being thankful, somehow made our burdens lighter. When Scott died and I revisited sad moments, I countered that sadness with moments that made me happy. For example, I thanked the Lord that although Scott was gone, I had the opportunity to be his wife and live a fun and full life with him for 30 years. I remembered when we fell in love, and when we decided to get married. I thought about how rich my life became because of his family and extended family, and how they welcomed me into their lives and home for so many years. After losing my grandmother at age 9, because I married Scott, I suddenly had two grandmothers! So many things for which to be thankful.
I am sad about the restrictions in place for this Thanksgiving, but I am not going to let myself carry that sadness, like a load on my back. I am going to think of all the things I have to be thankful for, and I am going to speak the names of those things aloud. Lord, thank you for golf courses, and good friends; for better health this year, and for new tires on my car to make me feel safe in winter driving. Thank you for my two brothers, and a childhood buffered by loving parents and good neighbors. Thank you for a wonderful career of teaching and coaching and directing, and all the relationships that happened because of my wonderful school district.
I think you get the picture.
Sometimes, I think we become so accustomed to having things and people in our lives, that we forget they are gifts. I think it is good to consider and remember our blessings, and to show gratitude.
-Shields you from negativity
-Makes you at least 25% happier
-Rewires your brain
-Boosts self-esteem and performance
-Enhances the law of attraction
I hope you will give it a try and see if you feel better! Happy Thanksgiving!
Visit Dede's web page for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required reading. Signed copies are available www.dederittman.com Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics.
I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books. Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self. However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired!
Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book. I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org The website www.gradygetsglasses.com now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!
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