If I had to summarize 2020, it would be exemplified by the glorious moment this weekend where my cat decided to scoot her tush across my brand new, very clean rug while staring at me as though daring me to question that the rug was installed for any other purpose.

Raise your hand if you’re sick of hearing the word COVID-19 or unprecedented jokes about these unprecedented times? This year has been trying for everyone.

But inevitably, life moves forward and we’ve reached the time of year that naturally calls for reflection. Perhaps now more than ever when we can’t fill our days with flashy distractions far, far away.

So during a time where we all need to count our blessings and practice gratitude, how do we? How can we be thankful when things are hard?

For me, the answer lies in being grateful for what I can be, while also giving myself permission to be frustrated, and maybe even a little angry and sad, that things are the way they are currently.

So, my hope for myself and everyone this year is that we’re able to find balance.

Right now, I’m grateful for busy, challenging days with coworkers who laugh with me and allow me to be a flawed-and-feeling human. I’m grateful that I’ve been hoarding books for years so I can have my Beauty and The Beast moment of choosing a new novel to read when the mood strikes. I’m grateful for friends and family who are my unwavering support system—and I’m especially grateful that wine can be delivered.

And while it’s important not to make light of the current situation or take life for granted—too many loved ones have been lost—to pretend that I am not navigating a mixed bag of emotions with pure sarcasm and throwing myself the occasional pity party would be inauthentic.

So this Thanksgiving, I hope you let yourself feel with a healthy dose of perspective. I will be doing my best to do the same.

To paraphrase a friend, 2020 has taught us, if nothing else, the importance of being human and leading with your heart and compassion, which includes compassion toward yourself.

Wishing you all a happy holiday season and that it provides you with a bit of magic and joy in unexpected places, even if it might not look as you hoped.

Laura Underwood, Director of Growth & Marketing