The holidays are here! Time to gather with friends and family, toast traditions, savor bountiful meals, swap gifts, share stories and be together. Just like the good old days. How happy are we?

The more important question may be, how grateful are we? We made it through two seasons of
foregoing traditions, avoiding gatherings, being alone, managing anxiety and learning to pivot. While we may have scars from a time in our lives we will never forget, we have arrived on the other side. 

Hopefully, one of the things we gained was a heart full of gratitude for all we may have previously taken for granted. While sequestered at home, we dreamed of today, of a return to normalcy, of all we have right now. Let’s not take one moment, one hug, one shared table for granted. 

It’s beautiful to see so many living life again – traveling the world, planning celebrations and crowding local eateries. This unimaginable time has motivated many to take that trip they’ve
been planning, to say ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’ and to realize long-awaited dreams. Be proud of yourself for finding the courage, and cherish every moment.

Many others, however, still have trepidation. This new normal is not exactly how it used to be, and reasons for caution still exist. Anxiety, fears and health concerns still keep some from stepping out, and two years of isolation and loss have enhanced the loneliness crisis in America. Not everyone has found their happy place.

Remember, we are all here together. So, let’s embrace the spirit of the season and lead with kindness. You never know just how much someone may need your acknowledgement. One small compliment, a smile to a stranger or a random act of kindness can generate an abundance of gratitude for them – and for you. 

And gratitude is the key to embracing today…
and every day. 

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