Reasons to Thanks-Give

I don’t know about y’all, but my Facebook newsfeed has been blowing up with Thanksgiving-related posts:  Turkey Day, making pies, eating pies, spending time with the whole family, eating turkey, gathering with friends, eating stuffing…  You get the picture.  Unlike most of you, I had to work yesterday.  In doing so, it gave me time to reflect on some things I am truly grateful for:

1.  I am thankful for the Fredericksburg Turkey Trot 5K.  This race has a special place in my heart because it is ultimately responsible for my love affair with running.  It was my very first race, which I ran with my sister, in 2006.  It was the first (and thus far only) race for my then-boyfriend (now-hubby!) in 2007, my father-in-law in 2010, my youngest sister (and unborn son, still not sure if he counts) in 2011.  Since various family members started running in 2005, I’ve yet to miss either running or cheering this race.  I am almost guaranteed to see the Garbee family, who got us into running and who I consider an extension of my immediate family.  For me, this particular Turkey Trot has become a Coleman-Garbee-Winyard Thanksgiving tradition.  And yesterday was no exception. 5 1/2 months after having Cole, I ran my fastest 5K ever in 26:47!!!!

2.  I am thankful I have a job.  This may seem strange, considering the fact that I will no doubt work every holiday at some point in my nursing career.  This year, I essentially missed my firstborn’s first Thanksgiving.  However, the sick do not miraculously get better because it’s a special holiday.  I’ll admit, I was really hoping to be put on call so I could at least spend some time with my husband and Bowling Green family.  But alas, I never got that call.  So I took a 90 minute nap, then plunked myself in the car and head into work.  My patient load was tolerable; I actually had time to run down to the cafeteria for a free Thanksgiving meal!

3.  This kinda goes along with #2, but I want to give a huge shout-out to our troops, firefighters, EMTs, nurses, doctors, police officers, and everyone else who’s job prevents them from celebrating with friends and families.  Our jobs are difficult, even unpleasant.  But evil and sickness don’t take breaks for turkey and cranberry sauce, or Christmas trees and snow.  On a positive note, we are in a unique position to share warmth and sunshine on what could be a very gloomy day for the sick and helpless. On a personal, practical note, it can be very difficult to feel that the exuding happiness is making any impact when the patient is non-verbal, unresponsive, or thoroughly confused.  Yet I will continue to strive to remain positive in hopes that I can brighten someone’s day in some small way, be it a patient, family member, or a peer.

4.  I’m grateful for: my crazy, adorable hubby, who always makes me smile!  for my precious son, whose laughter and smiles make my world go ’round!  for a certain brother with mad camera skills, who can capture these hilarious faces and make them look great!  for my mom(s), dad(s), brothers, and sisters who accept my occasional insanity, goofiness, and crazy ideas and love me in spite of it all.  for my friends who have held me through the tears and laughed with the silliness.  for my fellow nurses, who helped make this a very memorable Thanksgiving!

5.  Lastly, I am so grateful for my health.  I have put my body through some pretty strenuous circumstances in the last year.  I grew a baby, gave birth to said baby, ran a half marathon without any training, and ran my fastest 5K to date.  Through it all, I have avoided injuries and illnesses.  The only time I’ve been confined to a hospital setting is when I’m working, or recovering from childbirth.  I have my sanity (well, most of it).  After spending a holiday shift with the confused, the total cares/non-verbals, the sane-but-sick, and their families, I have a better appreciation for my health and quality of life.  That being said, I will continue to do what I do best; spend time with my family in Caroline County, have a late Thanksgiving meal with Hubby and Cole, and go for a run.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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