Thanks & Giving
More importantly, it’s a time to reflect and be thankful for our blessings. This is obviously the “thanks” part of Thanksgiving. It’s a great time to express your feelings to those who are important to you, and to silently give appreciation for the good things in your life. Gratitude is a wondrous thing, but so seldom experienced by us in the normal routine of the day. We’re much more likely to focus on the negative events, the things that bother us, the stuff we do not have…what a shame. Stopping once a year in late November isn’t often enough to express appreciation and feel gratitude; we should make a conscious effort every day to live in gratitude and show appreciation to those around us.
Perhaps that naturally leads to the other part, the “giving” part of Thanksgiving. To truly give thanks is to not only feel it on the inside, but to express it on the outside. In our work lives, we give every day to the pets and pet owners we help, because it is a part of our jobs. But we felt compelled to come into a profession of caregiving for a deeper reason, because we wanted to help alleviate suffering of other beings. That makes us special; that makes us people who truly give every day. Even when it feels like nobody notices, even when the good feelings are balanced with some unfortunate events at work, we can take a second look at those around us and demonstrate our appreciation for their help, their effort, their intentions. This is as simple as using the word “thanks” on a regular basis with those we work with.
That sounds pretty simple, but if you go through a routine day you will notice a definite lack of the word “thanks” when there are plenty of opportunities where it can be inserted. Now, with a renewed appreciation that is sparked by this November holiday, let us go forward with the word “thanks” on our minds and on our lips, letting each other know that we are special people doing special work, and we deserve appreciation.
And every so often, take a glance in the mirror and say thank you to the reflection staring back at you. Sure it’s nice to hear the word from a boss or a coworker, but we miss an opportunity to pat ourselves on the back quite often when we’ve really succeeded in the work we do. Know that not everyone can do the job you do, facing the realities of pet healthcare day in and day out, battling noncompliance, lack of education, shortage of available pet owner funds, trauma and drama of catastrophic illness and injury, and come back to do the same work day in and day out. For each of you, I am thankful.11/28/2011 2:11 PM