Thanksgiving is really a special time in our household. By this time in New York, almost all the leaves have fallen off the trees. Summer clothes are put away and I have unpacked my jeans, sweatpants, hoodies and scarfs for the winter. Thanksgiving this year, however, will be different for me. Normally, I spend my winters down in Florida. I usually leave New York at the end of September and come back to New York in April. I usually fly home to New York for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year, due to my health, I cannot fly back home for Thanksgiving, so I am staying here in Florida. Thankfully, I do have some family down here but I have a compromised immune system so I can’t really be around anyone.
So, I have been trying to come up with a Thanksgiving plan for myself. This way, I can still have a thanksgiving experience. My parents have always emphasized to me the importance of being thankful and giving back to your community. My goal is to focus on being thankful, despite what we’re all going through and my health issues. We all have a lot to be thankful for in life.
When I was younger, I went on a public speaking tour. One story I always shared is my reaction when I drop something on the floor. I usually get upset at myself for making my life more difficult. I tell myself to stop complaining because I can still pick up that item I dropped. One day, I probably won’t be able to do it. At the end of the day, I’m human. The next time I drop something like my phone, I have to remind myself again to be thankful that I can still pick things up off the floor.
The other day, I went to get groceries and I noticed the store is advertising Christmas stuff in the windows already, mainly gingerbread houses. I feel like Thanksgiving gets passed over because the excitement of Christmas. There is nothing wrong with putting Christmas stuff out early, however, I feel like Thanksgiving is a forgotten holiday. So, my Thanksgiving plan is to volunteer my time. I reached out to the mayor of my town and they have some volunteer work I can do that won’t put my health at risk. I am also putting together a food donation for the local food bank. I feel like I’m doing my part to bring joy to someone’s life. Even with everything going on in the world, I am fortunate. I have a roof over my head. I have food on my table. I’m blessed to have a job where I can help people who have disabilities get power wheelchairs to give them independence and freedom.
Although I will be seeing my family through FaceTime this year, I am thankful for all of things I have going for me in my life. Let’s all be thankful this Thanksgiving!
About Josh McDermott: Josh is a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab®. He is a public speaker and has served as a goodwill ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Josh lives in New York and loves to travel. Click here to learn more about Josh.