Why I’m Thankful

It’s been a tough year, hasn’t it? I find myself trying to reach the finish line of 2020, whatever that might look like. And while there’s been a lot of stressors, especially for the disability community, I also want to take some time to acknowledge what I’m personally thankful for. What better time to do that than as Thanksgiving approaches?I’m truly thankful for my loved ones. Even in these challenging times, I’ve been able to rely on the people in my life for support, and I’ve had the privilege of being able to support them. A big part of this has been ensuring that we all make it safely through the pandemic, offering words of comfort through these trying times.

I’m thankful for my health and the health of the people in my life. Many people I care about are immunocompromised and knowing that they have been able to remain well has meant the world to me. I do continue to worry, due in large part to the fact that disabled people are high risk, but I will continue to be thankful each day that we are healthy.

I’m thankful for technology. Although I’ve been home during the pandemic, as we all should be, the power of Zoom has allowed me to visit with my family across the country, participate in a speaking engagement in the U.K., and enjoy game nights with friends. I have to admit, even though I miss seeing my loved ones in person and I miss traveling for work, there’s a part of me that doesn’t totally mind not having to worry about my wheelchair being damaged every time I board an airplane!

I’m thankful for my mobility. Specifically, I’m grateful to have a power wheelchair that has enabled me to enjoy everything from strolls around my block to long rolls on walking trails. Being able to get outdoors and breathe in fresh air (far away from other people and wearing a mask) is something I definitely do not take for granted, especially these days.

I’m thankful to be a Q Roll Model. Having the opportunity to show people that being a wheelchair user isn’t a bad thing is really important to me. I love sharing what I can do as a person who lives life on wheels, and I enjoy showing people just how much more I can do at iLevel.

Of course, there’s so much more in my life that I’m thankful for. And as silly and redundant as it may sound, I’m thankful that I have so much to be thankful for! Even though this Thanksgiving holiday will be small and socially distanced, I will continue to reflect on these positive parts of my life, and will keep rolling on!

About Emily Ladau: Emily is a blogger and serves as the editor in chief of Rooted in Rights. She co-hosts a podcast and has been recognized as an emerging leader in the disability community. Emily lives on Long Island and enjoys traveling and trying new restaurants. Click here to learn more about Emily.