By Sarah Valdes • November 30, 2020•Ms. JD, Writers in Residence, Issues, Balancing Private and Professional Life
Every Thanksgiving we’re reminded to “count our blessings.” This year that phrase just hit a little differently. Although my Thanksgiving looked nothing like it had in years past, I found myself in utter awe of how incredibly fortunate I was. For me, Thanksgiving begins the season of slowing down. Although the hustle and bustle of selecting gifts and making holiday plans kicks off, it’s the start of a season when most people can take some time off of work and relax. We trade in rush hour traffic for holiday movies and cookies. So while I found myself pouring over a Food Network Mac and Cheese recipe print out, I found myself grateful for some things I never would have thought to share over the dinner table last year.
Technology. It took a global pandemic for me to realize quite how privileged I was to have a stable internet connection. I have often been the proponent of unplugging and while, yes, there is absolute value in that, I don’t know where I would be without the technology that has allowed me to stay in touch with friends and family, learn how to make my own Thanksgiving sides, and taught me how to join a virtual community to meditate.
Virtual volunteering/donations. We are used to seeing food drives this time of year. But the need this year is unprecedented. I am grateful that I have been able to donate my time and finances to help those directly in my community even in a small way. If you haven’t checked out my post on how to connect to your community via volunteering, click here. This pandemic has left us all feeling a little more isolated and often helpless. For those of us who love our list-making and planning, the past eight months have taught us that we can’t control everything. But we can help just a little bit at a time.
Virtual Communities like Ms. JD. I am grateful for the lady lawyers who participate in online communities like Ms. JD. I have been lucky enough to virtually connect with law students and seasoned attorneys alike. I appreciate their sympathy, empathy, and humor. I have been grateful for the posts I’ve seen about trying to find the blazer jacket for online mediation that fits despite the pandemic pounds. I appreciate the smiles I’ve gotten from seeing posts from lady lawyers showing off their “coworkers” (or, as they used to be known, children and pets). Those posts, jokes, and moments of vulnerability have given us all a little smile and a little hope.
So, although Thanksgiving may look a little (or a lot) different, there is always something to be thankful for. Who knows? You may even find yourself thankful for something new this year!