By Kim Commins-Tzoumakas | November 29, 2018
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity… it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie, Best-Selling Author
Last week, I was traveling from Michigan to Florida, as I routinely do. While I sat on the plane, I scrolled through emails and my seemingly never-ending “to do” list in an effort to make the most of my time on the plane. That’s when it really sunk in – Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means December is almost here. It’s funny how every year we know the holidays are approaching, but somehow, they still manage to sneak up on us. And just like that, the “to do” list became even longer.
I quickly started to feel a little overwhelmed thinking about all that needed to be accomplished within the next month and a half. But, then I had to pause and reflect on this past year. It’s surely been anything but dull – a new job, new responsibilities, a new, dedicated One Dream Team, and a family with growing boys to care for all at the same time. There certainly has been a lot of good, yet there are days when it seems like no matter how much you feel you’re doing, it’s never enough – we have all experienced those. Regardless, I’m grateful to have lived it.
At the end of the day, we all have something to be thankful for. It’s all too easy to get lost in the mundanity of your everyday routine and forget to take time to remember what is most important. Absolutely, we all have things we wish we could change. After all, life can be so unpredictable and at times certain things can be very overwhelming.
However, I strongly believe that thankfulness leads the way to a more meaningful life because when you are truly grateful, you live with a greater purpose and passion. Being thankful allows you to capture the full essence of every moment. Further, being thankful is more than an action, it is a mindset that allows you to feel as though nothing can compromise your contentment.
A few weeks ago, I attended my son’s lacrosse tournament. Many of you can probably relate to attending games, practices, and events and consider it to be something routine and ordinary. And, usually, I’d agree with you. But looking back at that moment, standing in the freezing rain watching our team lose, I was so happy to be there. You see, I’ve realized that something so simple is still something to be grateful for and my hope is that you, too, come to value the significance of life’s little moments.
So, as Thanksgiving came and went, I found myself back on a plane last Saturday. One of my physicians forwarded me an article published in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal entitled, “Gratitude is Good for Business,” and said that while reading it, he was thinking about me and our journey over the last year. There was nothing more rewarding than to have one of our physician leaders recognize the efforts made by 21C’s leadership team to appreciate our Dream Team members for all they have done to get us where we are today, which at times was anything but easy.
I will forever be thankful for the opportunity this past year has offered me. At this time last year, I would have never imagined I’d be where I am today. It just goes to show that life can take crazy, unexpected, and sometimes scary turns. This year, one thing that has changed who I am is being able to share hopes, dreams, and fears with cancer patients and then being able to witness the often miraculous treatment our Dream Team provides – even when all odds were against that patient. A cancer diagnosis is nothing to be thankful for, however, being embraced by a Dream Team who will fight for you when no one else will is. I know I’m beyond grateful for the team I’m surrounded by every day.
With all this being said, Thanksgiving is more than just one day on the calendar. Instead, giving thanks should be a daily practice all year-round. Though our lives are busy, don’t neglect to consider all the people and things you have to be thankful for. So, especially in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I encourage you to slow down, breathe, take it all in, and be thankful to just be.
The Hug Every Day blog will offer periodic insights and guidance from the 21st Century CEO, Kim Commins-Tzoumakas. Kim is no-nonsense, but also very caring. And she is excited to have this opportunity to share her vision for 21C with you.