Jaime’s Thankful Thoughts
Jaime Chaifetz November 22, 2021
Thanksgiving last year was rough, to say the least. While I won’t get into the specifics of how hard this holiday was for the entire planet, I will say it was especially difficult to plan one of the most family-oriented holidays of the year. Just getting a few people from different households in the same room was an almost impossible task as Covid cases and deaths were skyrocketing and there seemed to be no answer in sight. But there was one positive last year, at least in New Jersey- The weather cooperated with us and it was about 60 degrees on Thanksgiving. It was like someone out there was making sure a select few people who are normally huddled indoors around a fireplace or inside with the heat on were protected and able to have an outdoor celebration. My family normally has a large gathering of over 20 extended family members. Last year 3 of us were separated 6 feet apart outdoors, zooming with most of the other family members from across the country on a tablet. Sometimes, things just work out, even in the roughest of times.
We’ve come a long way and have gotten through a grueling and traumatic year filled with adversity. There were so many hardships for so many people across the world. But there were also upsides. We spent a lot of time together with family. Maybe too much family time? We got to work from home. We realized that not all meetings need to be in person and sometimes zoom suffices. There have been ups and downs but something I am grateful for this year is that things have gotten better for many, and that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
So, this year many people will be meeting in person and there’s a good chance the people you’re with are going to ask you the age-old question, “What are you thankful for this year?” This always is kind of nerve-racking for me. There’s so much to say, and sometimes, everyone is secretly competing for the funniest response or the most sincere and sweet thing to say about their significant other. Needless to say, it can be stressful. But if I have to think about it as a personal question and not a performative one, I’d say there’s a lot to be thankful for. Aside from personal things in my life, I am thankful we have the opportunity to interact with each other again. For getting to hug our loved ones without fear. For smiles, we can see from the grocery store clerks. For frontline workers, who have gone unnoticed in the past year after things got a little better, but steadily continued working hard. Also teachers. A round of applause for them. I am especially thankful for our clients who have paid their insurance bills during the pandemic and remained loyal customers. But when it comes down to it, as the talented singer Lorde once said, “Spend all the evenings you can with the people who raised you, ‘Cause all the times they will change, it’ll all come around”. Times have changed, and it all has come around. So this Thanksgiving season, look forward to the future. Get excited about future vacations, concerts, beach days to come, and winter wonderland around the corner. But don’t forget to spend time with the ones you love. Don’t forget to appreciate your dog and play with him at a park once in a while. Be thankful for the difficult yet important lessons we’ve learned since 2020.
While we’re celebrating with family, let’s also remember to take care of ourselves this season. Making sure that we feel safe and good and that we are prioritizing the things that make us happy. I think a lesson that hit home for so many this year was “life is short- do what you love.” And no, Thanksgiving isn’t traditionally a time for resolutions, but given the chance to reflect, I’d say that taking care of ourselves and our loved ones (and not only bubble baths, crystals, and manifestations) is really what matters. My Grandpa always used to say, “If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything”. Taking care of your health means a lot of things. Sometimes it means tending to your mental health by distancing yourself from that relative that cracks obnoxious jokes each year or spending extra time with your grandparents. Or could be as simple as making sure you take your vitamins and medications if you take any. Sports, activities, eating in moderation – while these aren’t tenets of Thanksgiving are other aspects of health to be grateful for this year.
So, all in all, I hope you have a great Thanksgiving holiday. I hope your holiday is enjoyable and just the right amount of overwhelming. I know some people don’t like to say they “hope” for things. I think hope is a positive thing. Without hope, there are no thoughts of the future. So, in that vein, I hope you have a peaceful and meaningful holiday. Eat some good food (don’t forget a few veggies) and go for a walk the next day. And never forget how lucky we are all to be here this year. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!