Thanksgiving, the time when we give thanks not just FOR, but TO those who have been an important part of our lives. This year, I propose we all try a Social Thanksgiving – one where we focus on the true meaning and value of relationships, and take the time to pay attention to others first (and ourselves next).
Before the Internet, and social platforms, we had to rely on telephone calls and letters to stay in touch with our friends, family, business associates, and acquaintances. But today there are so many opportunities to stay close to everyone. We can participate with them vicariously from afar via the simplest of interactions, including texts, video, FaceTime (so envious I did not have this when my girls were young), seeing their social posts, and feeling a part of interactions, events, and conversations.
As many of my friends and followers have come to know, my daughters mean everything to me. And as a divorced dad, I’ve had to fight, and give up a lot, to spend precious time with them. But I’m particularly thankful that in today’s age, “spending time” with my daughters isn’t limited to in-person time. I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I get to spend very little actual time with my girls—which has been very tough for me. However, I’m very grateful for the “moments” (like last month with Niki)I’ve been able to have with each of them, and also of the ways I can stay in touch and be involved in their lives from a distance simply by seeing what they are up to via their social posts. Just the act of thinking of my girls, holding them in my thoughts and remembering those special moments gives rise to feelings of love and gratitude. I think our internal “connection” with those we love has a lot more power than we think. No matter what others do, think, or feel, we always, always hold what we have in our hearts… see minute 4:38 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGloF4mpzJ0&t=16s #ThisDadWontQuit
I guess the Thanksgiving lesson in this is the special “Return on Relationship” you get when you’re just grateful for the relationship… past, present, and future. When you stop worrying about what you don’t have and what you weren’t able to do and just let go and appreciate the time, moments, and memories you have had, wonderful feelings can fill your thoughts. You get to share more moments, both in-person, and via so many other connections.
Focus on what you can do today to build better relationships, be a better friend, family member, colleague, advisor, mentor, and general human being… we need it now more that ever.
So this Thanksgiving, I thank each of you for building me up and helping me shine my light, and I hope I have the chance to do the same for you! Now please pass the Thanksgiving #vegangoodness and “spare” a Turkey.