“I hate Coronavirus” said my 7 year old daughter. “I understand”, I said. “But, we need to find the good in it.  Tell me one good thing that came out of this.” Her response was a strong “Nothing”. Prompting further, I said “Think again. We got to spend time with the family”. Finally! Some excitement,  “You are right! We got to spend a lot of time together.”

This was not the 2020 I had in mind or planned for.  This was supposed to be a transformative year, ironically it has been, but not in the way I expected.  This year, I’m  choosing to be grateful in the midst of chaos and craziness, taking from something I learned years ago.  I was a different person 20 years ago.

I saw the world as doom and gloom and couldn’t figure out why so many bad things happened to me.  When I was 3, I was hospitalized for over a month for second degree burns all over my body from boiling hot water. When I was 12, my close cousin died from a hit and run accident, and a year later his father (my uncle) died of cancer. A year later my best friend was diagnosed with leukemia, and four years later, just after her 18th birthday  she died.  Around the same time the recession caused my parents to sell their 3500 square foot home and moved us into a little apartment in a not so great neighborhood.  I put myself through University and it took me over 15 years to pay for it! I’ve faced heartache and heartbreak, countless to mention.  Failed businesses and even faced bankruptcy at least twice![Text Wrapping Break]

I didn’t have much to be grateful for, or so I thought.  Life just sucked so bad that I finally had to DO something about it.  My life completely changed when I started being more grateful. Having the attitude of gratitude completely changes your energy and literally changes your life.  I started being grateful for just being alive.  For having enough to eat.  For having my health and for the people in my life.  I became grateful for every little thing!

It’s easy to be grateful when life is great, it’s harder to be grateful when you’re dealt some awful stuff.  Two years ago, I lost 2 of my close friends within one month apart.  It was devastating.  I was angry at first, and  I still wish they could be here with me today.  However, now I can be grateful for the experience. Grateful because it teaches me not to take life for granted.  Every moment counts.  Every hug is precious.  Every laugh is soul medicine.  Yes, Coronavirus disrupted so many things this year, and I do know multiple people that have lost loved ones during this time. I don’t discount that.  However, I am looking at the good and choosing to be grateful for this extra time I’ve had with my kids being home with me. And more importantly, teaching them through living by a mantra I hope they adopt. I know this Thanksgiving will be very different from all others, but I hope you too can find many things to be grateful for during this time.

- A Message from Anne-Marie Lerch, CXO

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