“Silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone.” – Gertrude Stein
Who doesn’t love Thanksgiving? What began nearly three hundred years ago as a day of giving thanks for a bountiful harvest has become the busiest travel day of the year when families and friends gather to enjoy a sumptuous meal.
If your household is like mine, Thanksgiving Day is rich in traditions, like watching the Macy’s parade, rooting for our favorite football teams, watching the National Dog Show on TV, and playing games. But this year, Thanksgiving will be unlike any other.
I’m preparing myself for a very different Thanksgiving. For the first time in 32 years, our daughter is staying away out of an abundance of caution. That saddens me. But rather than ruminate on what I’m missing, I’m choosing to greet this month with gratitude. If this year has taught me anything, it is to express my appreciation without delay. As often as I can, I let my friends and family know how thankful I am for their presence in my life. I’ve learned to enjoy drinks, share dinners, and even play Yahtzee on Zoom. As imperfect as those virtual experiences are, they keep me connected to my community.
I’m also grateful to those in “my village” who support us, like the folks who work at the neighborhood market, the servers at our favorite restaurants, and our dog walkers who have held this multi-dog family together for years. I find ways to express my appreciation of these essential workers who keep showing up. And I remember others in our community have had work opportunities cut short during the economic downturn brought on by the pandemic.
My gratitude extends to all of you, the members of Impact100 East Bay. You make dreams come true through membership donations that fund our transformational grant each year. I am thankful for the volunteers who manage the grant process, who help us update the website, who lead communication efforts, and who’ve worked tirelessly to make our virtual events so special. Thank you for your participation and patience as we’ve adapted to a new way of conducting our business.
You are the backbone of Impact100 East Bay. Four years ago, our chapter was formed on the basis of a shared aspiration. Next year, we will celebrate our fifth grant cycle. For that, I bow to each of you as I humbly utter a heartfelt “thank you.”