I don’t know where or when he heard it and got it stuck in his head, but my husband was singing and humming a line from an old Irving Berlin song all weekend. The line is, “And you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings.”

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, ‘tis the season for counting our blessings. Which we should do all year long – and many of us do, of course – but it’s more on our minds, and talked about out in the open, around Thanksgiving.

I’ve been thinking about the difference between last Thanksgiving and this one, in terms of blessings and of life in general. We were still somewhat isolated because of COVID at this time last year. Vaccines were not yet available, travel was ill-advised, and the future looked uncertain in a number of ways. Many people were having a difficult time finding blessings to name, let alone count. And yet, many people developed an appreciation for things like quiet time, reflection, and meditation. Or new hobbies and pursuits they never had time for before. Even though our “alone time” was forced on us, many found it to be a blessing in disguise.

It’s different this year in some ways, but still the same in others. COVID is still with us, and precautions are still warranted, but vaccines are readily available, and travel restrictions have loosened. Many people will be spending Thanksgiving with loved ones they weren’t able to see last year.

When we say – out loud or to ourselves – “I’m thankful for my family and friends,” it will likely be more heartfelt than ever this year. And if we have a roof over our heads, food on the table, and a warm bed to sleep in at night, we realize – perhaps in a new way – how fortunate we really are.

There is still much going on in our country and the world that worries me, including some problems that didn’t even exist, or weren’t really an issue, at this time last year. And, if I’m not careful, they can keep me up at night, especially if I’ve been watching the news before going to bed.

That’s when it’s more important than ever to think about, and count, my blessings. There are many, and the more I think about them, the more I find. That’s a blessing in itself.

Whether you’re traveling or staying close to home this Thanksgiving, whether you’ll be part of a gathering large or small, and whether your dinner will be a turkey with all the trimmings, or a ham and cheese sandwich, I hope you will have a safe and happy holiday. I hope you will connect, in some way, with the people who are most important to you. And when you go to bed that night – and every night, really – I hope you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings.

November 22, 2021
©Betty Liedtke, 2021

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