By Keisa Sharpe-Jefferson
I was recently traveling through downtown Birmingham and this thought occurred to me – things are coming back. Activity is bubbling up again and seeing this, there was an unexplainable joy that rose up inside of me.
But you know what was even more prevalent than joy? Gratitude; a deep sense of appreciation for seeing my neighbors engage life again.
That day, I saw: More people out and about walking the streets and soaking up the fall sun; more cars zipping in and out of traffic lanes with that “back to business” hustle and bustle; more employees walking to and from their workplaces in a return to what was their “normal” routine.
At one point, the traffic and people overflow may have contributed to a bit of stress for me. But this time, it’s significantly different. It’s a welcome sign that, as the saying goes, “tough times don’t last, but tough people sure do.”
We’re healing. And, most importantly I believe, we’re thankful. Thankful to endure, engage and enjoy life at our own pace once again. So when I think about Thanksgiving this year, it can’t take on a casual tone for me and my family.
There are too many things to be grateful for; too many people I need to celebrate; and too many memories I have yet to create.
For me, this Thanksgiving holiday season will take on a note of sincere and abiding appreciation. I will acknowledge that I’m still here to enjoy another holiday with a sound mind and peaceful heart.
I will look upon my husband, family and friends with a heart of sheer thankfulness, knowing that it’s not by accident that I’m journeying through life with them for such a time as this. I will appreciate every opportunity that crosses my path and harvest the rich lessons it provides – both the good and the bad.
To that point, a friend recently reminded me that rather looking at losses as “failures” we come by in life look at the “lessons” we are afforded in one of two categories – either victories or teaching moments.
Your outlook determines how you categorize these experiences. So, choose well. And although we share many differences, it seems we were all brought to an equal playing field with an unpleasant dose of reality with Covid and its after-effects.
Even with that, I choose to be thankful for the lessons that COVID allowed me to learn. Now, how will you celebrate Thanksgiving?
Remember, as always, I’m cheering for you.
Keisa Sharpe-Jefferson is a life coach, author and speaker. Her column appears on the first and third Thursdays of each month online and in The Birmingham Times. You can contact Keisa at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit http://www.allsheanaturals.com for natural hair and body products.