Thankful Thursdays

For my job and extended family.

I’m feeling very fortunate to be employed. Right now, millions of people are not feeling that fortunate. But I am one of the lucky ones who has a job that can be done remotely, and work for a company that not only allowed us to do that, but also helped us settle into our new working environment.

I feel for those struggling during this daunting economic crisis. I am grateful to be employed and to be part of the White & Case family.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Life is short…
Work where you’re continuously accepted,
respected, appreciated, encouraged, inspired,
empowered, and valued.”
-T. Howard

“In the midst of chaos, there is also
opportunity.”
-S. Tzu

“You may not always end up where you thought
you were going, but you will always end up where
you were meant to be.”
-Unknown

[Note: By the way, in case you’re not Spanglish-speaking, “si Dios quiere” means God-willing. Mom finished most of her sentences with that phrase. I added it to my sendoff in her honor after her passing].

 

Thankful Thursdays

For normal days.

Let’s be real, pre-quarantine, many of us whined about our daily routines: “Ugh, I wish I could stay home today!” That was the number one response people gave when surveyed about things they think of on weekday mornings. Then one day that usual routine we complained about drastically changed when Corona came to town. I don’t know about you, but my days now feel like Groundhog Day stuck on an eternal Sunday. I’ve lost track of time. Strangely, the past month has felt like a slow motion whirlwind.

Although my family’s survival mode did kick in a few days into this craziness and we’ve adjusted so far to the current situation, part of me longs for a normal day. One of those normal days I whined about. It now brings to mind the kind of words that make you go “Hmm….”  Mary J. Irion had it right:

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure that you are.
Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.
Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.
One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow,
or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want,
more than all the world, your return.”

I wonder what our new normal will turn out to be like. For now, I pray the Lord helps us embrace the uncertainty of this pandemic and focus on the positive things it has brought us. Let’s count our blessings.

Still, for normal days, today and always, I am grateful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“It has taken awhile, but I certainly do know it now – the most wonderful gift I had,
the gift I finally learned to cherish above all else, was the gift of all those perfectly
ordinary days.”
-K. Kenison

“We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.”
-T. Fuller

[Note: By the way, in case you’re not Spanglish-speaking, “si Dios quiere” means God-willing. Mom finished most of her sentences with that phrase. I added it to my sendoff in her honor after her passing].

Thankful Thursdays

For emotive journeys.

During our weeks of house arrest, we’ve all found ways to stay entertained. But, really, how much Netflix, board games, Animal Crossing, and walks around the neighborhood can one muster? To change it up a bit, at home we decided to inject into that mix a few short walks down memory lane. So, we’ve been watching bits and pieces of old home videos. Must tell you, that’s some kind of entertainment.

Our own personal archive is a life montage of hilarious, goofy, adventure-filled and milestone moments worthy of popcorn. Oh my gosh, we’ve been laughing so much. It’s one thing to tell the kids stories of their childhood, and another for them to actually see themselves in action. And if you’ve ever wondered what your adult kids really think of your parental abilities, have them sit with you to watch a video of you and them back in the day. Open season is all I can say. It’s all fun and games until you play an old video. LOL. All kidding aside, it’s been a lot of laughs.

But viewer beware: Watching family videos can be quite a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Not only because you’re watching yourself thirty years ago when your skin looked radiant, but mainly because you’re watching footage of time shared with loved ones no longer with you. Sadly, our videos contain too many of those characters. The other night, I was particularly moved by a short clip of my sister and me at the hospital shortly after Danny’s birth. At the time, I didn’t know Ray was recording us. I’m so glad he did. She’s by my bed holding my hand and chatting about the miracle that had just taken place: the birth of her godson. What a sweet, sweet moment. It warmed my heart. Enough for days. Old family videos should be on everyone’s must-see movies bucket list.

Family and friends, while on Corona house arrest, I strongly suggest taking a trip down memory lane. Especially now that we can’t really be taking trips anywhere else. Go through old photos and watch your old videos. Show your kids the reason you have so much gray hair now. Take advantage of this down time to reminisce a little and relish your amazing memories.

For emotive journeys we’ll want to take time and again, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“I took a stroll down memory lane today, not to be saddened by the people
that I have lost, but to be grateful for the memories that I shared with them.
I took a stroll down memory lane today to the hear the voices and see the
faces….I am thankful that I have their words to hear again.
I took a stroll down memory lane today. I have done it before and will do
it many times more.”
-L. Hitch

“A picture is worth a thousand words…and a video is worth a million pictures.”
-A. Subbarao

“Love one another with a little added tenderness for the days of life are short.”
-Author Unknown

[Note: In case you’re not Spanglish-speaking, “si Dios quiere” means God-willing. Mom finished most of her sentences with that phrase. I added it to my sendoff in her honor after her passing].

Thankful Thursdays

For a season of heightened perspective.

Little did I know on that Wednesday morning when I received the holy ashes, that down the road our family would not be in church for Holy Thursday Mass. For us, traditionally, one of the most meaningful observances of the Easter weekend. This has been, to say the least, the strangest Lent I have ever experienced.

Typically, this is a very chill 40-day period of reflection, renewal and fasting, and of beautiful Masses and celebrations. Typically. But, deaths by the thousands and the scarcity of toilet paper have made it anything but chill or typical. Add the fact that the Eucharist is absent from our lives at the moment and, yes, It’s all beyond mind-boggling.

Then there’s the irony — a time during which many renounce alcohol or chocolate and give up social media for the sake of spiritual growth (yes, I said spiritual growth), has turned into a time of consuming alcohol and chocolate, and living on social media for the sake of sanity. Too surreal for Lent. Too surreal, period. But here we are. Weeks into this pandemic and on Holy Thursday. Tonight my family will attend a livestreamed Mass. Different feel, different platform, same God. Thankfully, He is everywhere. 

As this Lenten season nears the end, I rather not think about what we’ve had to give up or what this unexpected and disruptive season has taken from us. I’m trying to focus on what it has provided those of us who are still breathing: much time to spare. For more praying, for more loving, for more hoping. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” That thought is my hope and my sanity, now more than ever.

For the most profound Lent ever, and a season of heightened perspective, today and always, I am thankful.

Wishing all of you a very blessed Easter.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Unless there is a Good Friday in your life, there can be no Easter Sunday.”
-F.J. Sheen

“In life we live a mystery, not a formula.”
-Father J. Huard

[Note: In case you’re not Spanglish-speaking, “si Dios quiere” means God-willing. Mom finished most of her sentences with that phrase. I added it to my sendoff in her honor after her passing].

Thankful Thursdays

For silver linings.

Hello, friends and family. I hope you’re all hanging in there. We will get through this! Remember: Peace over panic; faith over fear. I know, I know, but even if through clenching teeth, just keep repeating it in your heads. Lots of people out there in worse situations. Let’s keep perspective on the front burner.

These unsettling times are scary because this virus is relentless and it does not discriminate. It has turned the world upside down (more than it already was, if that was possible). But we must look for the silver linings in challenging and uncertain times. We must look at the bright side to the kick in the butt Corona is inflicting:

-So much has been learned from it.
-Many people helping others and so many random acts of kindness.
-We’re living in awareness like never before.
-We are more prayerful.
-We are more grateful.
-We’re spending more time with one another than we’ve had in a long time, either via virtual gatherings (FaceTiming, Zooming, Skyping, etc.) or under the same roof. Although I’m loving the round-the-clock home together thing, it can get a little hairy from time to time, I admit. But, how often is that going to happen post-Corona? So let’s embrace that now.

I’m sure you have many other examples of good that are coming out of this dark time. Folks, this monster imprisoned our bodies, but not our minds and certainly not our spirits. And for that silver lining, today and always, I am thankful.

Here’s a dose of hope: Nunca ha llovido que no haya escampado. Never has it rained that it hasn’t stopped. Stay positive, keep the faith, and stay healthy!

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“I am thankful for my struggle because without it, I wouldn’t have stumbled upon my strength.”
-A. Elle

“The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser in case you thought optimism was dead.”
-R. Brault

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
-Romans 8:37-39

Thankful Thursdays

For our powerful intercessors.

These days, we need all the extra help we can get. I want to remind those of you who believe in the intercession of saints that they, who reign together with God, offer up their own prayers for us. As most of you know, St. Jude (the patron saint of desperate cases) is my go-to guy. Many of you have stickies with your supplications and petitions stuck on my St. Jude board at the office. At home, currently, I have a candle lit and one sticky with one petition for all.

May the saints in heaven continue to intercede for us here on earth. May they appeal to God on our behalf to stop this pandemic and help those afflicted. St. Jude, pray for us!

For our intercessors, and the power God has bestowed on them, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“The nation doesn’t simply need what we have. It needs what we are.”
-St. Teresia Benedicta

“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.”
-St. Francis

[Note: By the way, in case you’re not Spanglish-speaking, “si Dios quiere” means God-willing. Mom finished most of her sentences with that phrase. I added it to my sendoff in her honor after her passing].

 

Thankful Thursdays

For those making a difference.

Today, I want to give a really loud shout out to healthcare workers and people in the service industry who are on the front lines of this outbreak. These doctors, nurses, nursing home workers, and all those keeping grocery stores, pharmacies, and restaurant take-out operational, are putting themselves at risk in an attempt to help keep the rest of us healthy.

A lot of us can work from home. Not my cup of tea, I must confess. I don’t think I’m cut out for it, but I realize how fortunate I am that I am given the option to do so. We who can, should, no, must, repay those out there not just with our heartfelt thanks, but by refraining from doing anything that will put the lives of others in danger. Let’s do our part and act responsibly. It is critical.

Stay healthy, my friends, and keep the faith! This, too, shall pass.

For the remarkable people at the forefront of this fight who are making a huge difference, I am thankful. Let’s pray for them.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
-John 16:33

“Believe that what you do matters and will make a difference in people’s lives. You don’t have to save the world in one stroke but you can make a difference one person at a time.”
-Anonymous

“It is wrong and immoral to seek to escape the consequences of one’s acts.”
-Mahatma Gandhi

 

 

Thankful Thursdays

For the antidote.

These days, we focus on the Coronavirus and its effect on humanity. Scary stuff. Unfortunately, that is not the only dangerous toxin infecting people today. There is a cultural virus, equally or more contagious, that is causing great disconnect and divide in the world, and destroying souls in the process: Anger, intolerance, hatred and ill will. As if a biological nightmare was not enough.

But, while we have much to be concerned about, we have just as much to be optimistic about. Because you wanna know what else is also super catching? Kindness. When we are kind to someone, chances are that that someone will show kindness in turn. Kindness brings joy and peace, and it’s synonymous with tolerance. Also, guess what? Scientists say that warm-fuzzy feeling we get from performing such an act strengthens our emotional immune system. I think probably our physical immune system too. Plus it’s a twofer — acts of kindness bless both the giver and receiver.

If there is something to be caught, let’s hope it’s happiness from a spreading kindness contagion. Spreading a dose of goodness every chance we get might just do it. It’s the compassionate way of God. So people, yes, let’s wash our hands. A lot!  And let’s be kind. Let’s please be kind.

For kindness, the antidote to our cultural dysfunction, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.”
-Proverbs 3:3

“Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true.”
-Robert Brault

“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”
-Rabbi Tarfon

[Note: By the way, in case you’re not Spanglish-speaking, “si Dios quiere” means God-willing. Mom finished most of her sentences with that phrase. I added it to my sendoff in her honor after her passing].

 

Thankful Thursdays

For the necessary thing, the better thing.

Do you keep To Do lists? I do. On little post-its. Most mornings I jot down things I gotta do, or should do, or that I want to do that day. Although this time-management method is helpful, sometimes I get so wrapped up in trying to complete the tasks at hand that I lose sight of what was really necessary. Later in the day, no matter how many things I was able to cross off my list, I feel like I missed the mark. Reminds me of something my co-worker and I were discussing the other day.

Story goes that Jesus showed up at Martha’s house and Martha got too distracted running around doing things and being a hostess. All the while her sister Mary sat listening to Jesus. Martha complained about that, but Jesus told her that Mary had the right idea.

Let’s be more like Mary. When our brains are occupied with life and our hearts are troubled, and we feel inclined to run around with worry, let’s first focus on our relationship with God and listen. That’s the necessary thing, the better thing. I tell you what, for every time I make that choice, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Look for God, suggests my Guru. Look for God like a man with his head on fire looks for water.”
-E. Gilbert

“Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.”
-C.S. Lewis

“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
-Luke 10:38-41

[Note: By the way, in case you’re not Spanglish-speaking, “si Dios quiere” means God-willing. Mom finished most of her sentences with that phrase. I added it to my sendoff in her honor after her passing].

 

 

 

Thankful Thursdays

For what we receive.

Yesterday, Ash Wednesday (I know, it snuck up on us this year), marked the beginning of a time for us to sharpen our spiritual focus. During the season of Lent, most of us concentrate on repentance, almsgiving, and something to give up. But Lent is not just about that. It’s also about gratitude and honoring all the blessings that we receive.

For instance, the apostle Paul wrote, “What do you have that you did not receive?” Let’s take a second to think about that. Besides every breath we take, how about the grace, talents, and abilities God gives each of us? These are valuable gifts with great power.

This Lenten season, let’s reflect and focus on how to use our gifts for good. And as we remember that we are dust and to dust we shall return, let’s appreciate and share these blessings. From now until that time comes.

Wishing all of you a blessed Lenten season. For what we receive, today and always, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.”
-Erma Bombeck

Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
Fast from words that pollute; feast on phrases that purify.
Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
-William Arthur Ward

“For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
-Genesis 3:19

[Note: By the way, in case you’re not Spanglish-speaking, “si Dios quiere” means God-willing. Mom finished most of her sentences with that phrase. I added it to my sendoff in her honor after her passing].