As this year seems to have turned the whole world upside down it can be difficult to easily grasp things that we’re thankful for. However, it is times like these more than any other to stop and grab onto even the littlest things that this year has warranted thanksgiving. That’s why we wanted to share with you what we are thankful for. Maybe it will help you to realize how many things you really can be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
I am one of the fortunate to say that this year has been a blessing in disguise. I was going through some really hard things in 2019 that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. It was the capstone of a steady decline of one hard thing after another. I needed a chance to catch my breath. I wasn’t sure if I could take it anymore. I had some serious health problems that made it hard for me to function at the shop. Andrew was carrying his full load and most of mine. Our son was having a hard time being at school so much, so he was spending a lot of time at the shop during the work day. We were all carrying heavy loads. Then 2020 happened.
Early in the year we were able to hire someone to take over the Client Relations role for me. I was able to narrow my focus on marketing, the part of the shop I really like. When the stay-at-home mandate happened, like a lot of people, I began working from home because my job didn’t require being on site. Besides, our son’s school closed, so I needed to be home anyway. This was a dream for me! This was what I had always wanted – to work from home and care for our son. It was the space I needed to breathe. It was what allowed me to focus on my health, our son, and having a productive role at the shop. So, while there have been many challenges about 2020, even for me, the change in direction was exactly what I needed.
I am thankful for my new role working from home. I am thankful for more time with my son. I am thankful for my newfound health.
Victoria’s gratitude comes in a different form. At the end of 2019 she was searching for a job and was in the shop as a client. When I mentioned to her that we were looking to hire, she jumped on the chance. We put her through her paces and hired her mid-February…right before the country shut down.
She says, “This past year has been hard, but it has been full of chances to learn and grow. I’m thankful for the Marinelli’s who have not only serviced my car to a high standard, but who have also given me the opportunity to serve their clients.”
On a more personal note, Victoria’s family has been going through a difficult time as her mom fights a rare form of cancer. I can tell you from getting to know her that Victoria holds herself up well even on the hardest of days because she chooses to look on the bright side.
She continues, “I’m thankful to my church and community for coming around me while my mom has been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. Finally, I’m thankful to the Lord for every day I get to call my mom and have her answer, to wake up and face each new day with hope and with faith.”
Around the time that we hired Victoria, Mike jumped back on board to help take some of the burden off of Andrew as we continue to find ways to grow and improve the business. The timing was fortuitous as we quickly began to navigate changes in operation due to COVID.
Mike currently lives out of town but comes back regularly. With his family being “at risk,” he stayed with us on his visits until the stay-at-home mandate ceased. He says, “Definitely thankful that my family is healthy and safe considering the virus. I’m thankful to be able to help you guys this year.”
Andrew has had a lot on his plate this year. On top of “just” running a business, fixing cars, and serving the people who come through our shop, he’s had to adapt the business to the pandemic while also training a new employee.
Despite this, his gratitude for the year is far reaching, saying, “I’m thankful that we’ve had a stable opportunity to serve people during this chaotic year and that Victoria is motivated to serve the clients and finds it meaningful.”
If anyone deserves a break this holiday season, it’s definitely Andrew. With everything that’s weighing on him at the shop, he also has a family waiting for him at home. Every day it’s his goal to make it home before our son falls asleep and to spend time with me. Most of the time he makes it happen and our hope is that someday it won’t be a race against the clock. Some day he will be able to lock the doors at closing and go right home. In the spirit of seeing improvements in our home life, his gratitude aligns with mine when he says, “I am thankful that Beth has been able to spend more time with Arthur while still contributing to the shop.”
Finally, and I think all four of us can agree with Andrew when he says, “I’m thankful that God is good in both times of joy and times of suffering.”
Finding Thanks in 2020
It has been a rough year for so many people across the world and it may seem like there are few things to be thankful for. I hope that our proclamation of Thanksgiving has helped you to think about what you are thankful for this year.
Maybe the gratitude you expected to evolve as you came into 2020 didn’t come to fruition. Weddings canceled. Memorial services postponed. Family and friends becoming ill. National and world events weighing on you.
For every challenge or disappointment there is something to be thankful for to match it. People who have walked beside you during this time. A change in pace from your usual busy life to spend more time with your family. Time to reflect on what is most important to you.
What are you thankful for?