Recently, one of my dearest friends gave up her career to become a 24/7 caregiver for her Alzheimer’s afflicted father-in-law. It was understandably a rough period of adjustment — he was frail, prone to wild mood swings and incapable of even going to the bathroom by himself. But instead of expressing feelings of resentment or being overwhelmed, she was remarkably sanguine and accepting of her circumstances.
“How are you not angry about all this?” I asked her, thinking of how difficult it must be to have to diaper an elderly man or deal with the aggressive behavior she had just described.
She was surprised by my question. “It’s not his fault,” she said. “I’m just glad that I’m strong and healthy enough to be able to care for him.”
Her response humbled me. Her outlook on what was an impossible situation was made bearable by a sense of gratitude for her good health.
Gratitude may very well be the secret to happiness and success. Researchers have long reported that people who feel thankful on a regular basis are happier, sleep better and are far less prone to suffer from depression and anxiety. And relationships, whether personal or business, are strengthened when people express gratitude. A well-known example: Customers who feel their patronage is appreciated are far more likely to become repeat clients or refer friends.
And so, as we close the books on 2015, I’d like to share a few of the things I’m thankful for in my professional life:
• I’m grateful for all those in positions of leadership within the industry. These people have shown a single-minded level of dedication, vision and drive to serve the industry they love. They have enormous power to effect change, which truly is an awesome responsibility.
• I’m grateful for my PSN colleagues, particularly the editorial staff. It’s only through their hard work and commitment to excellence that I’m able to perform my duties in any passable manner.
• I’m grateful for the trust and opportunity given to me by those at our parent company, Hanley Wood. I’m especially grateful to our editorial director, John McManus, who has been nothing but supportive in my first year as editor.
• I’m grateful for you, our many wonderful readers, for supporting the work we do to serve as “the voice of the industry.”
• And lastly, I echo the sentiments of my dear friend: I’m grateful to be strong and healthy enough to be able to do the work that I do.