It might be a bit corny to do a gratitude blog post. However, I think 2020 has put a lot of things in perspective for all of us (and made me appreciate the value of being corny sometimes!).
As I take a few days to celebrate Thanksgiving, I’m reflecting on #allthethings. Some of the most powerful blessings I have in my life:
- my health
- my family
- my neighborhood
- my communities
Gratitude for my health is at the top of my mind, especially these days. Without my health, I wouldn’t be able to do the simple things that I take for granted each day, from getting ready in the morning, playing with kitties, to making dinner at night.
Without my health, I also wouldn’t be able to do the work that I love doing. I am grateful that I am able to go my coworking office every day and provide a safe place for my community to work. I know that, thankfully, if something were to happen to me, my coworking community would pick up the slack (see below). Still, I am grateful that I am in good health and able to go to hold this space for those that work here with me.
I’m also thankful for my relationships with my family. This year has brought many changes, but we are still able to find connection and care for each other even from a distance.
I have so much gratitude that my elderly parents have remained healthy during the past nine months. My mother is three time zones away, and yet we are still able to chat during our weekly calls, focusing on the little things that connect us. My father lives nearby, and despite not having seen him in months, our frequent calls let each other know how deeply we care for each other. I still can’t get either of my parents to Zoom —thankfully they’re only a phone call away!
My auto-immune sister (and self-proclaimed germaphobe) manages to deal with her illness without adding COVID to her daily trials.
My daughter is finding her way in life. We were estranged for a couple years, but our relationship has strengthened again. She knows that I accept her and her choices with unconditional love.
Finally, I frequently think of my grandmothers, both deceased, who are with me each day. They guide me with grace and compassion.
Prior to COVID, it was common to see monthly dinner clubs occurring in 20+ homes. Monthly book clubs have been going on for decades. Neighborhood meetings are frequently attended by 60+ neighbors looking out for each other. I know every neighbor on my street!
The crown jewel of Atlanta’s first suburb is the annual Inman Park Festival. This festival brings three days of street parties, tours of homes, and amazing food and vendors. I watch as my neighbors volunteer to make it run smoothly (and for the last five years, I’ve been part of the trash patrol team). All of this work is done to raise funds to make our area even better with community improvements.
COVID brought changes to the normal neighborhood activities this year. Neighbors still take care of neighbors. This neighborhood shares its gratitude freely.
This is a big one for me. I belong to many communities, both in the coworking world and elsewhere.
First, I want to recognize how grateful I am to have been a member of the Seed & Feed Marching Abominable community marching band for 26 years. Right now, our virtual rehearsals give us a way to stay musically connected until we can cram 50 of us in a room again. We’ve recently created samba percussion and a ukulele groups. We can bring the joy of music to ourselves and others. All while doing it outdoors, physically-distanced and with face coverings.
This community marching band does so much more than make music. We have game nights, we collaborate on projects, and we take care of each other. Sharing our love of creating music brings us together, but our love of one another keeps us connected. We frequently refer to ourselves as one “big, dysfunctional band family”.
Also here in Atlanta, I have my coworking community of Alkaloid Networks members. While not every member is in the office at the moment, or not every day, this community remains strong. We all recognize that this coworking space is special, and we work to support each other and the community we’ve built. I know that we all want and need to persevere against this unimaginable obstacle. I am so grateful for the appreciation we’ve shown together in this space.
Finally, I am also part of a global coworking industry community that is so, well—let’s call them “coworky”. We’re spread all over the globe, but we are connected by our love of people. Honestly, without our weekly Zoom calls/happy hours and Slack, I would feel so very alone on this journey. We applaud each other’s wins and listen compassionately to each other’s struggles, both personal and professional. I’m so grateful that you are in my life.
These are just four areas of my life for gratitude. I am ready to spend some time giving thanks and reflecting more on this year.
As this year starts to wind down, what are you grateful for?
Curious what our community looks like?