"I don't have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness - it's right in front of me if I'm paying attention and practicing gratitude."
--Brene BrownIn November the days grow shorter. I am packing more activities into the daylight hours. As I spend more time indoors, I use the silence to reflect.
Since March 2020, when the U.S. went into COVID-19 lockdown, our lives have changed dramatically. The concept of staying healthy took on a new meaning, as those with diabetes and obesity being found to be at high risk for infection with COVID, being hospitalized, and dying. Every week, people talk in hushed tones about someone they know at work or at church who got infected or who has died.
At the beginning of 2021, vaccines to protect against COVID became available, offering hope and light. When the state asked for employees to step forward and help work in county health department vaccine clinics, I stepped forward. I worked with an incredible team of registered nurses in Corydon, Indiana to help them get vaccines into arms. I saw bravery in our health professionals, often working double shifts, to get every dose of vaccine administered and documented, not wanting to waste even one single dose. I remembering calling people at the end of long work days those first few weeks in January, telling them we had an extra dose and that we would wait for them and could they come right over to the health department. The people I called on the health department's fill-in list dropped what they were doing to drive over for a chance to be one of the first in the state to be vaccinated, giving themselves protection from the fear of infection, disease, and death. We worked in unity to help our neighbors stay safe and healthy.
As families gather safely to give thanks, I give thanks for my family and all they do to support our mother’s desire to age in place. I give thanks for the world’s health care heroes. I give thanks for farmers, especially the pumpkin farmers in Indiana (see picture above). I am thankful for parents who have navigated deep waters to protect their children through the pandemic. I am thankful for every breath I take. I am thankful for the gift of life every day. What are you thankful for?
With love and kindness,
Nancy Heinrich, MPH
Founder and Wellness Architect