Trying to be Thankful

It goes without saying that 2020 has been a challenging year. There have been times when I’ve shaken my fists in frustration, cried my eyes out in sadness and been brought to my knees in prayer. 

With all that’s happened, it’s far too easy to hop on the train to Complaining Town. Although I believe it’s okay to take a brief stop there–maybe even a layover–it’s not really where I want to dwell. 

So I’m trying to be thankful. 

This year, I just need to dig a bit deeper to find the good hidden under all the hard stuff.

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The Gifts of Uncertainty

I was texting my friend Kevin awhile ago and he gave me a pep talk on staying positive. I replied that mostly, I am staying positive. I just wish the future wasn’t so muddy. He replied, 

The future is muddy regardless…just sayin’!

I paused to think about what he said, then had to agree he was right. The future is always muddy. Regardless of well-laid plans, current health conditions, or whatever else is happening right now, the future is muddy and uncertain.

In the book, “The Immortalists”, one of the characters states that her mother gave her the gift of uncertainty. When I read this, I had to set the book down and ponder. Uncertainty is a gift? How is that even possible? I had to unpack this idea.

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Where I’m Supposed to Be

At the nursing home where my mother-in-law lived, there was a woman named Alice who had dementia. She wandered the halls with a puzzled, worried look on her face and would continually ask, “Where do I go, dear?”

We would always walk her to her room, or at least point her in that general direction. When she arrived at her room, the puzzled look never left her face. Arriving there did nothing to calm her confused, restless state.

One day, I walked by her as she was sitting down to dinner. She touched my arm and again pleaded with me. “Where do I go, dear?”

Instead of directing her to her room, this time I said,

Well, Alice, you are exactly where you’re supposed to be.

I’m not sure where those words came from other than she was exactly where she was supposed to be–at dinner. For the first time since I’d met her, the expression on her face changed from confusion to delight. She smiled and gave me a thumbs up.

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