It’s easy to get lost in all the negativity we are bombarded with daily.  We all like to be informed and in touch with what’s going on in the world.  However, I try to temper the amount of time I spend following the news.  Admittedly, the negativity is addictive so drawing myself away isn’t always easy.   I start to wonder how bad things can get.  Those who run the news know how addictive negative thinking can be and will continue to give you the worst to keep you watching.  News runs on advertising dollars, so the more drama (negativity), the longer you watch.  However, the news is only one slice of reality and not without bias, regardless of which news you follow or network you watch.   

More than half of Americans say the news causes them stress, and many report feeling anxiety, fatigue, or sleep loss; as a result, the survey shows. Yet one in 10 adults checks the news every hour, and fully 20% of Americans report “constantly” monitoring their social media feeds — which often exposes them to the latest news headlines, whether they like it or not.” 

American Psychological Association 

Let’s not forget, there is another less newsworthy side, where there is hope for the future, adventure, creativity, and thought leadership to carry us forward.  These past few weeks, we’ve had some rare but very positive news with much-needed vaccines coming out with a high degree of efficacy; these developments are something optimistic to monitor.   

As strange as it sounds, the darker things get, the more profound the bright side will be coming out the other side, whenever that happens.  Everything moves in waves, flows, and cycles.  There is no doubt that we are in a valley or slump with COVID-19 and the effect on the economy.  However, if you stop to look around you, life goes on.  The sun rises and sets, the season’s turn, innovative entrepreneurs start new ventures, and companies are doing business still fighting against the current.   

In our industry, we are fortunate enough to be associated with companies with higher demand than ever at this time through a twist of fate brought on by COVID.  The need for food, packaging, and medical orders have gone up, not down, in many places.  This has a stabilizing effect on our business, for which we are grateful.   

It’s important to note that being grateful doesn’t mean being complacent, we still have all the ambitions for success and growth we started with, and we refuse to let this block us. At our company, we have had some of the best, creative, forward-thinking discussions with our trusted team members during COVID. It amazes me once we get deeper into the conversations, we block all negativity and confusion out.  We are genuinely excited about the future. 

So, let’s talk about being grateful.  I appreciate that everyone will have their list of things to be thankful for and varying degrees of gratefulness; here are just a few things to help you get started with your gratefulness list: 

  1. Health:  If you are in good health, think of all those affected by COVID or other ailments.  For COVID, the numbers rise every day.  If you can get up, go for a walk, or even do something as simple as doing basic exercises indoors, cooking dinner, laundry, cleaning around the house, and being grateful.  These are all things that we take for granted in normal times, but like the Stoics who practiced gratitude every day, this is a time to examine and be thankful for the small things we are given each day. 

    “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breath the thing to enjoy, to love.”   

    -Marcus Aurelius

  2. Work: With unemployment and economic uncertainty, we need to be grateful that we have work to do.  Not just for the money it provides us, which of course is extremely critical at this time, but also for the opportunity the work offers in itself.   Being responsible for a job and being part of a team provides us with challenges, new skills, and an overall sense of meaning and purpose.  All jobs help contribute to the economy and help support your community. 

  3. Friends, Family, Community:  One of the unfortunate byproducts of COVID has been loneliness due to government mandates for ‘physical distancing’ and isolation.  Be grateful to have family, friends, and colleagues you can connect to and interact with regularly.  Although, in most cases, interaction is remote due to ‘physical distancing,’ be thankful that you have an outlet to share your thoughts and experiences during the Pandemic. It’s important to note that physical distancing doesn’t have to mean social distancing.  With some creativity and technology, there are opportunities to connect that we may not have even thought of using before the Pandemic.  Social media, Zoom, Skype, Teams, and old-fashioned telephone calls are as safe as ever. 

Above is just a shortlist of things to be grateful for (Thanksgiving).  There are so many other reasons to be thankful; if you are having trouble thinking of some, start small and build from there.  As we know, time marches on, so this time of difficulty will be behind us in our rearview mirror at some point—the sooner, the better, of course. In the meantime, let’s make the absolute best of it, starting by being grateful for what we have and building on that foundation to tremendous success for the future. 



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