I wake up suddenly from my deep sleep, my mind racing with all kinds of thoughts. I start to panic because I know soon it will be morning and I will not be fully rested if I cannot go back to sleep. I avoid looking at the clock because I’m afraid to panic when I see the time, especially if it’s only a few hours from the morning. I’m also fearful that if I open my eyes I will not be able to go back to sleep so I keep them closed.
In my panic, I remember I have a secret weapon I have used all year to help me go back to sleep when I wake up in the night. I close my eyes and think of all the things I am thankful for. With each thought, I start to feel a sense of calm. I remind myself that once I run out of things to be grateful for, I can start to redirect my thoughts to those who may be having a harder time than me. The next thing I know, it’s morning. I don’t know when I went back to sleep, but I’m happy I did.
That’s what gratitude does! It’s the most powerful medicine because it forces you to focus your attention on what’s right in your life and removes your negative thoughts. Coupled with redirecting your thoughts to others, it becomes an incredible form of meditation. No hangover or grogginess from sleep medication. It’s the perfect antidote!
Gratitude reminds us that no matter what we’re going through, we can find at least one or two positive things in our lives that can help us push through our challenges. Oftentimes, we don’t have to look too far to find those things.
Despite the devastating impact of COVID19 on our lives, the stress of living through racial injustices happening to the black community, and the uncertainty of not knowing what lies ahead, we still found some amazing things to be thankful for this year. They helped us stay positive and motivated and most importantly reminded us that there is always a silver lining.
Here are the 10 things we’re most thankful for this Thanksgiving
1. Our Health
We’re extremely grateful to have been spared from the wrath of one of the deadliest pandemics of our generation. We’re thankful to be alive and well because many have not been so lucky.
2020 has been devastating for millions of families across the globe with 1.4 million reported deaths from COVID19. In the U.S. alone, over 260,000 families have lost their loved ones and more than 12 million people have contracted the virus. Our hearts go out to these families. We hope the vaccine comes soon enough to reduce the death toll and return the world to a much healthier and better place.
2. Surviving 2020
Raise your hand if you think 2020 sucked! We bet everyone has their hand up right now! To say that 2020 was horrible is an understatement. It took a lot for us to get through it but we managed with the help of some creativity, courage, and technology. We’re most grateful for the latter! I mean, how could we have been able to work and go to school remotely and host virtual events to spend time with family and friends without it?
In many instances, technology was the only way for families to say goodbye to their loved ones. Though it can never be the same as the power of human touch, it gave families a little bit of comfort knowing their loved ones did not pass alone.
3. Women Volunteers for the Masks for Change Campaign
We’re thankful for the incredible women who volunteered to make masks for essential workers and assisted living facilities through a Mask for Change campaign we organized in collaboration with the Women Like US Foundation. Because of their generosity, we were able to make and donate more than 4,000 masks!
Also, we cannot forget to be thankful to the donors and supporters who helped raise money to supply food and basic necessities to women from the organization’s Women Center in Nakuru devastated by COVID19. The center is a safe haven for women survivors of domestic violence. It provides skills-based training to help them make a livelihood for themselves and their families.
4. Second Quarterly Period Products Drive
We’re grateful to our gapmuseWomen community for making our second Quarterly Period Products Drive a success. Despite COVID, they helped us collect over 2,200 pads, tampons, and liners ($750 value) to donate to Distributing Dignity, a non-profit organization that distributes feminine hygiene products to homeless women and girls. Through both drives, we have been able to deliver a combined total of more than 4,400 products ($1.300 value) to the organization!
5. Watching Our gapmuseWomen Community Grow and Thrive
We’re grateful and excited to welcome more members to our Facebook group, gapmuseWomen. Our membership increased by 25% to 134 amazing women. Even though we were unable to do any in-person events, our members adapted quickly to our virtual format. We appreciate them for attending our Facebook Lives and virtual events and contributing their thoughts and opinions through their comments, likes, and shares. Their support helped us stay positive and motivated during the pandemic and inspired us to keep growing and nurturing the community.
6. Launching Our Podcast
We’re deeply thankful for successfully launching “HerCanvas,” our new podcast that helps women and girls find the inspiration to live their best lives. Developed as an extension of our blog and gapmuseWomen community, our mission is to give women another platform to hear thought-provoking conversations about the things that matter most to them.
Launching HerCanvas is by far our biggest achievement of the year! We’re five episodes in and can hardly wait for you to join our conversations. You can subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Amazon Music.
7. Our First Guest Blogger
We invited our first guest blogger, Ilma, to tell her story of why education is critical for women and girls. Through her incredible story, we were able to help her raise funds for a girl’s school in Indonesia struggling to reopen due to COVID19. Her initial goal was to raise $1,500 but we surpassed it by raising $1,610! We couldn’t be more grateful to her and to all the donors and supporters! Because of their generosity, the school was able to reopen safely.
8. Hosting 2 Free Digital Marketing Webinars for Women Professionals and Entrepreneurs from Kenya
Our gapmuse mission has always been about reaching and inspiring women no matter where they are in the world. This year, we were grateful for the opportunity to share our digital marketing skills with the women of WomenWorkKe, a Facebook group of 4,000 Kenyan women professionals and entrepreneurs. Thanks to technology and Zoom, we were able to successfully host 2 virtual webinars to discuss social media strategy and a Q&A to answer digital marketing questions from the group.
9. Growing Our Blog Family Reaching More People Across the Globe
We’re always amazed by the number of people we reach across the globe. This year, we were able to expand our reach to over 60 countries around the world. We’re eternally grateful to you our blog followers for your consistent support and connecting with us through your likes and comments.
10. Building More Connections on Our Social Media
This year, we connected with 1,400 people across our social media platforms. We’re grateful to all our fans and followers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for continuing to hang out and chat with us throughout the year. On Pinterest alone, nearly 50,000 people viewed our content every month! We couldn’t be more thankful for your likes, comments, and shares. You inspire us to continue sharing the information to educate, inspire, and empower women and girls everywhere!
If there is one thing we can take away from 2020, it’s that the human spirit is resilient. Despite the devastating effects of COVID19 on our lives; the loss of so many loved ones; the anxiety caused by an uncertain future; the stress and anguish of racial injustice, and the suffering of so many across the world, we fought to survive and in some instances, thrived.
We adopted technology to stay connected to our loved ones; gave back whenever we could; came to the rescue of essential workers and vulnerable communities; schooled our children and worked remotely; nurtured our communities; supported the Black Lives Matter movement; raised climate change awareness and fought to save our planet, and most of all, remembered to be thankful for everything that was right with our lives.
We hope that this Thanksgiving, you remember that you’ve fought the good fight and done everything in your power to survive this year. Appreciate your resilience, strength, and courage, stay hopeful, and keep your loved ones closer, even from a distance.
We shall prevail…because we always do. Believe that!
Happy Thanksgiving gapmusers!
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Inspire us with your comments.