• Maria A. Mansfield

Still So Grateful!


Last December, we pledged each other a Happy New Year! -I know, I was there! 2020 seemed so new and uncharted. Our 2020 goals, so upgraded and promising! For many, this was the year it was all going to happen, according to our plans! But then the Pandemic hit, threatening the entire world, rendering more sicknesses and deaths this century has known so far. When it seemed like all hope was gone, there were even more layers of pain through social injustices, loss of jobs, and long stretches of anxiety and uncertainty. So how can we possibly be grateful after all these challenges, seeing that our plans didn’t pan out?


If we’re honest, though, we do have a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving holiday.

-By grace, we’re here today. Our health might be the biggest blessing we can count on today.

-We’ve grown even stronger and more resilient because we’re all in this together. Everyone is!

-We’ve learned new skills we didn’t even know were in us. We became amateurs at everything!

-Our kids completed almost a whole year of online studies. That takes discipline!

-We’ve adjusted to so many new ways of doing things. We problem-solved so creatively! We made-do with what we had at home!

-The Pandemic united us in solidarity and compassion for others like nothing else could.

-We finally had the time to see our family -and our Seniors as they waved to us over FaceTime.

-We learned to care for others in ways we would’ve been too busy before.

-We became more aware of other people’s needs and showed more compassion.

-We also had more time to think, meditate, and even pray for others and ourselves.

-We learned not to give for granted everything we used to totally dismiss as ordinary.


So yes. Amid all the setbacks, I’m still very grateful for 2020! Part of my list includes:


-My Husband, because even if his 50th Birthday was not the celebration we had initially planned, we still were together as a family to honor his life and what a cool Dad and loyal husband he is! I’m grateful we’ve spent a year of simple dates walking outside and going to the grocery store! I love him! I’m so lucky to be his.

-My oldest son, because even if his 21st Birthday was a simple family dinner, he has matured in ways I never dreamed he could. He’s so kind, and his light shines so brightly I know he was born for greatness. I’m proud to call him my son. He inspires me with his music, hope, and joy.

-My youngest son, because although the Class of 2020 had a different kind of Graduation, he did a great job throughout High School, graduating with Honors and currently attending the college of his choice. He’s such a caring, thoughtful, and compassionate young man. It’s been a privilege to raise him. I know he’s bound to do something great with his life.

-Family, because even if I’ve missed them this year without being able to go see them, our ties have strengthened through technology and knowing we’re always close -even if it’s in our thoughts and prayers.

-Friends, who even if I haven’t been able to see as often, we’ve stayed in touch over the phone, and it has meant the world to me that they are so close at heart.

-Health, so grateful for it. Maybe, one of the highest commodities these days.

-Work, I’m grateful it’s kept my mind busy and my days from looking like they’re all the same.

-My new book, what an honor to translate “Life is Worth Getting Better” into Spanish (“Tu Vida Merece Que te Mejores”)

-Learning, I’m so grateful for all the ways you can learn anything these days.

-Yoga practices, one of the best ways to unwind, stretch, stay fit, and find my mental space!

-Our Chocolate Lab Wilson -how could have this puppy grown into a friend for life?

-Walks outside; I’m grateful for any chance to be in Nature.

-Prayer/Meditation, grateful for the hope and perspective it renders into my life.

I know despite the challenges, you may have your own list of blessings you’re grateful for. I hope you do. My brother sent me this that I love: “This is not the year to get everything you want. This is the year to appreciate everything you already have.” Let’s be grateful for even the smallest things we used to give for granted. We might not have ever realized how fragile our health can be and how truly blessed we are.


Happy Thanksgiving to you and to those you love!

All my best,


Maria A. Mansfield, PRS

Author, “Life is Worth Getting Better”

“Honoring Your Recovery”

“Tu vida merece que te mejores”


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© 2016 Maria A. Mansfield