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Half Empty or Half Full?

I’ll admit… My Christmas Tree and decorations in my D.C. apartment were put up well before Thanksgiving arrived.

And part of me wants to use the excuse, “Well, 2020 has been a tough year and we need Christmas cheer a little earlier this year!” But the truth is, 2020 or not, I’m always an early-November decorator. But it’s not because I devalue Thanksgiving- I promise! I just get really excited for Christmas.

But 2020 has given me a new mindset on many things, including this holiday season.

And I don’t need to state what makes things different this year (If you haven’t paid much attention to the news this year, DM me!)

But I saw a picture of a message that someone had written in the sidewalk using chalk that caught my attention. It said:

“I thought 2020 would be the year I got everything I wanted. Now I know 2020 is the year I appreciate everything I have.”

Many of us entered 2020 with our own “wish lists” of how we wanted things to be. But it turned out to be a mixed bag of every emotion imaginable. In the early part of quarantine, maybe it was a bit calming to get a break of the business and stress of life. But then the extra time and isolation turned into what many have considered a nightmare of a year.

I’ve had my own significant struggles of my own this year. And I’ve had friends lose their mothers and another friend have to say goodbye to their 6-month old daughter all in just the past few weeks.

Maybe for some you, 2020 has been a really good year. And if that’s you, I want to celebrate that with you- that’s amazing.

For others, it’s been brutal. There’s so much mental, spiritual and physical battles that are going on as this virus is affecting every component of our lives.

Maybe you’ve heard of this analogy…. If you see a glass of water filled up to the midway point, do you view the glass as half empty or half full?

This year, I’m answering that question differently.

Some days in 2020, I’ve seen that glass as half empty. Other days, I’ve seen it as half full. And sometimes, my perspective changes multiple times throughout the day even.

But this Thanksgiving, I’m answering that question a different way. I don’t see the glass as half empty or half full. I’m just thankful there is water still in the glass.

I’ve realized that everything in life is a gift. Literally everything. So instead of dwelling on the way things didn’t meet my expectations, I’m focusing on the water that is still there somehow.

What does that look like for you?

I don’t want to go into a long list of what that could be because that list is going to look a little different for everybody. But let me just say one thing….

Instead of me focusing on the disappointment of not being able to have our normal big-family Thanksgiving dinner this year, I’m just thankful that my family and friends are still alive when over 250,000 Americans have died.

It can be something as simple and profound as that.

And just think about if the pandemic had occurred just 10 years ago when our internet and wireless infrastructure is nowhere near where we are today. Today, almost everyone has a smart phone where they could video call somebody. 10 years ago, only a small portion of the population had a smart phone with a fast enough internet connection at home to hop on a video call.

This isn’t saying you need to be optimistic about everything. But it is saying that we should appreciate everything. Because it all is a gift.

For too many years, we got used to life’s blessings and we just called it “Normal.” And nobody celebrates “Normal.”

So although I start celebrating Christmas well before Thanksgiving dinner is served, this holiday season I’m taking the spirit of Thanksgiving with me.

Because maybe Thanksgiving shouldn’t kick off Christmas. Instead, it should be exactly in the middle of the holiday season. The act of giving is birthed out of a spirit of gratitude.

I don’t need my wish list to come true when I realize I already have more than I deserve.

So is the glass half full or half empty?

Neither. I’m just amazed that somehow there’s still water.

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