I don’t normally take the whole week of Thanksgiving off. This year it was the right decision. As you may know, back in January, my husband, Frank, was rushed to the hospital and after two grueling days and two procedures, was diagnosed with an atrial flutter. With his permission, I blogged about the experience. If you aren’t caught up with what happened, you can read about it here.

When he had the ablation to destroy the tissue that caused the atrial flutter in his heart, the problem he was had with his heart beating too fast should have ended. Back in April, he had another episode. He was at work but this time we were more prepared and knew the drill. There was no procedure, just the paddles to get his heart back into rhythm and some temporary medication to keep his heart at a normal pace. His Electrophysiologist suggested that either he had a new atrial flutter or the original one tried to reconnect after the ablation destroyed that rogue tissue. This isn’t uncommon. Apparently, the body, which is always trying to heal itself, will often assume that when tissue is destroyed with an ablation its job is to repair what’s been done. On Monday, Frank is going in for his procedure which will explore this, look for a possible atrial flutter, and fix it if necessary. It’s a relatively easy, same-day non-invasive event. However, I decided that what is most important is that I spend my week focusing on my husband and not work. This does not mean I won’t be doing any client work, I just won’t be blogging. So if you are a client, I won’t be available only on Monday the 22nd and, of course, Thanksgiving.

As an adult, Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday. And despite the fact that Frank and I decided that we will stay close to home this Thanksgiving for a reason that is fairly grim, I still feel like this year has given me so much to be grateful for. First of all, Frank may be going into the hospital again, but his heart issue is a fixable problem, not progressive, we have good doctors, good insurance, and a community that supports us.

Second, work has been amazing this year. By all accounts, I should be out of business. Small businesses dropped like flies during the pandemic yet somehow I, a person who runs a small business in fashion specializing in executive women leadership —all who went home to work in joggers in 2020 and are only kind of sort of making it back — managed to not only survive but thrive and have had one of the best years. I owe so much of this to all of you, not only those of you who hired me but those who bought me proverbial cups of coffee at the beginning of the pandemic which helped me eke by in those early months, voluntarily paid to be part of my Facebook Group or showed support just by letting me know you were paying attention. I wake up every morning excited to do my job because I know how easily I could have lost it.

I am grateful that I have enough to give back. I believe that service should be a part of everyone’s life in one way or another and the best way to be able to do that is to be emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically filled so that you have enough to give away. The more I deepen these things in myself and the richer the tapestry of my life becomes, the more I have and want to give. This includes work with people incarcerated through the Unitarian Universalist program, Worthy Now Prison Ministry Network, and the LGBT+ community, having just recently gotten involved with Knit the Rainbow, an organization that accepts handmade knit and crochet accessories for homeless LGBT youth. Acts of service don’t always need to be big gestures, however, they can be in the small ways we are kind, compassionate, share what we have, or go out of our way for someone else. This is how I strive to live, and most days I am successful. Like everyone else, I am a work in progress.

I am grateful for learning to accept my current limitations. As someone who has always had the motto, “just push harder,” like many of you, the pandemic tore through my life and basically made it impossible for me to function at my once robust capacity. My two choices were to either run myself into the ground or adapt by taking on less and making simpler choices or taking an easier path. I learned how to be more compassionate with myself and more tuned in to my needs and limits.

I am grateful for my clients. Wow. I can’t even express how amazing these women are. What I have come to realize is that had I never started my business and left my design career, I never would have had the opportunity to meet most of them. Under what other circumstance would my world collide with a Disney Imagineer, State Department employees, CEOs at companies where I couldn’t even begin to explain what the company does, women in finance who do things with money that I didn’t even know money was capable of, business owners, lawyers of all types, women stepping into their third acts of life, and more? These are the brightest, most ambitious, resourceful, accomplished, and loveliest women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and truly what makes me love my job. With every new client that spins into my universe, I get excited just by the prospect of getting to know each one of them better.

Lastly, I am grateful to all of you, dear readers. Having your readership, even if it is casual, is a privilege I don’t take for granted. Every time I publish a new blog post, I earn your time, a commodity that is very precious.

Life has taught me that no matter how south life can go, you can always find gratitude. We’re in rocky, strange times that have tried every one of us and it doesn’t seem things will completely relent anytime soon. But we all have flowers that are trying to push their way through the cold, hard earth to bloom. If we continue to nurture those small blooms, we will manage to create some beauty and things to appreciate. I am sure you too lots to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. If you feel inclined to share it, leave it in a comment below.

Whether you are celebrating Thanksgiving or not, I wish you a time of peace, love, and gratitude. I will see you in a week.