Practicing gratitude in a difficult season

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Expressing gratitude seems more essential than ever…especially this year. 

As the holiday season approaches, we might focus on what we’re missing, the people we’re not seeing, the places we’re not going and the things we’re not doing. However, shifting our awareness to the things we DO have rather than what we don’t may seem challenging, but it is also necessary. 

So this year, I surveyed my colleagues at Edafio to find what they were thankful for. 

Judging from the responses we received, it seems that there is still much to appreciate, despite the multiple difficulties facing the world. 

Edafio shared their gratitude for being part of a company that has proved amazingly resilient. Their empathy and understanding for their colleagues, loyal clients, friends, family, and faith provide the support they need to keep going. Grocery delivery and even the local liquor merchants made the list. 

Many people expressed thankfulness for good health for themselves and their loved ones when many are experiencing health issues. 

I got the chance to read over some thoughtful notes of thankfulness from my colleagues, and it is clear that the community is very important. Every response mentioned family, friends, children, and significant others. Many respondents recognized their work family and how their colleagues at Edafio make their job a daily pleasure. Finally, there was a strong sense of gratitude for life, health, nature, four-legged companions, and our healthcare heroes.

What We’re Thankful For

Without any further adieu, here is a list of the reasons to be thankful:

Edafio Roundtable associates
Collage of Edafio Associates who participated in Q4 Virtual Roundtable 2020

1. I am very thankful for my family and our health. I am also incredibly thankful to work for a company that has kept health and safety top of mind through this Pandemic. – Amy Beam

2. I am thankful to have the opportunity to spend the holidays with my mom and dad this year. – Shannon Sims

3. I am thankful for my family and our health. I am grateful to work for a company that cares for its employees and the community.  – Randy Hull

4. I’m thankful that we play a part in helping our frontline healthcare workers care for patients. It’s important and meaningful work. I’m grateful for a healthy company that has sustained itself and its employees this year when so many haven’t been as fortunate, and I’m thankful to work for and with people I admire and trust. Our Edafio team is fantastic. – Keith Crawford

5. I am thankful for our Edafio associates’ resilience to continue to support our clients despite all the challenges of 2020 – the Pandemic, racial tensions, remote work, school challenges with our children, client business impact, etc. The fact that our associates have endured all these challenges and continue to provide exceptional support to our clients is an astounding accomplishment. – Kenny Kinley

6. In the unusual and busy world we live in right now, there are always opportunities to slow down and experience moments by being present and cultivating a sense of gratitude through my relationship with time and my five senses. Now more than ever, I cherish my senses – every breath, touch, smell, taste, sight, and sound. Their fleeting nature makes them even more precious. This leads me to time – each day, hour, and minute, I have a choice as to how I wish to use my time. A chance to try something new, fail, succeed, and improve and time to savor the joyful, simple, heartfelt moments that turn into memories that I can reflect on in times of struggle.- Melissa Swann

7. I am thankful for many things, so I made a list! My job at Edafio, Teams/Zoom to connect when we cannot do so in person; Having to be creative and think outside the box, and laughter – it is always needed and necessary and even more so now.;  I have had the opportunity of doing this in the last couple of months.; Challenging myself to focus more on others; accepting and respecting where they are with COVID.; My husband, Tom, helps me stay focused.; Linda, Rita, Carolyn, and Brenda – closest friends – and we have continued to keep in touch, encouraging each other during this unusual time.; My sister Cindy – we talk every day for about 15 minutes; Edafio Associates who make life fun, exciting and rewarding; Leadership Team at Edafio – they have led us well and with confidence during the Pandemic!; Melissa’s vision for us to share these things to encourage others; what a GREAT idea! – Jennifer Hawthorne

8. I’m so very humbled and thankful first and foremost, for my salvation in Jesus Christ and the continued daily guidance and provision in all areas of my life that God provides. 

As a result of His love and grace for me, I pray that I’m using my time wisely to give back to Him, my family, friends, co-workers, clients and our community. As I reflect over the years, I am incredibly grateful for each connection and season of my life. 

I may not get it right many days, but He gives me a fresh start each day. – Valerie Moring

9. I am thankful for Jennifer Hawthorne. She is one of the kindest people I have met, and without her positivity and thoughtfulness, I would not make it through the day. I am not what you would consider a generally positive person, but she makes me want to try. – Michael Carpenter

10. I am thankful for my family and friends, who have kept me sane during this Pandemic. – Sam Grubb

11. I’ve been thankful for the slower pace that’s come about these last eight months. It has allowed me to bond even more with my young kiddos due to the lack of extracurricular activities & general busyness of life. This has undoubtedly been a time when our relationships have gotten deeper due to experiencing this Pandemic together. I fully believe our relationships will be even stronger as they get older– Katie Grayham

12. I’m thankful for my family, our good health, and the blessings of living in the USA. – Marlowe Small

13. I am so thankful that we have been able to continue working throughout this terrible Covid19 Pandemic and not have to experience any layoffs or worse like so many other companies have had to deal with. Nothing hits families harder than missed paychecks when they are not able to work because the bills keep coming! I am also very thankful that none of our Edafio Team or our family members have fallen victim to Covid19, and I pray this continues! – Jeff Gable

14. I’m thankful for: My relationship with God; My family; Our new home (particularly my new home office); The ability to work from home amid all this craziness; This excellent company that has been so good to me and for me; The ability to provide Thanksgiving dinner for my family; The opportunity to be a husband; The opportunity to be a father (twice!); Great support network through my church; Great neighbors; Our almost 13-year-old beagle; 2020 – for all its trials and challenges, I’ve never experienced a year with more personal growth! – Lee Hammers

15. I am thankful for pumpkin pie, online shopping, grocery pickup and delivery and sports during COVID. – Chris Easley

16. I’m thankful for technology that allows us to live a semblance of everyday life even amidst a global pandemic! – Peter Burg

17. And last but not least, rather than telling us what Chuck was thankful for, he showed us by capturing his beautiful grandson playing with bubbles. If this video doesn’t bring a smile to your face, I am not sure what will. – Chuck Morse

This year, start a new Thanksgiving day tradition by asking yourself and your loved ones these six questions over virtual or face-to-face Thanksgiving dinners: 

QUESTION #1. What’s one thing you’re grateful to have learned this year?

QUESTION #2. How do you practice gratitude in your everyday life? 

QUESTION #3. What about today has been better than yesterday?

QUESTION #4. What choices have you made in the last year that you’d thank yourself for making?

QUESTION #5. What’s a hard lesson you’re grateful you had the opportunity to learn?

QUESTION #6. What’s one thing you experienced recently that made you feel a sense of wonder or awe?

Please check out these practical guides and resources to help encourage a lifelong practice of gratitude.

We hope our gratitude list brings you encouragement and inspiration and you’ll come up with a few. If so, please share with us what you are thankful for to keep the thankful train chugging.

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