Adventures in Nursing Blog

Is it ok to be thankful in the midst of a pandemic? Yes — focus on the positive

Is it ok to be thankful in the midst of a pandemic? Yes — focus on the positive

Is it ok to be thankful in the midst of a pandemic? Yes — focus on the positive

I am thankful.

Is that hard to say this year? I am thankful … question mark?

I can think of a few other phrases that sum up the year a bit better: “To hell with this year.” Or, “I am frustrated.” “I am angry.” I know many of us have thought, “I am tired of the virus.” Or, “I am tired of politics and divisiveness.” Or how about, “I am just … tired”?

But then I dug a bit deeper and found something I didn’t expect. Gratitude. Deep down, I really am thankful for this year. This year hasn’t beaten me down. It’s made me stronger. It’s made me appreciate the people in my life even more than before.

I am thankful for my family. My wife, kids, and dogs. I’m thankful for my extended family, for my wife Jenny’s family. Although we haven’t seen him much this year, I am thankful for my brother and his wife. Who knew we’d grow closer if he just moved eight hours away? Life is funny like that, I guess.

I am thankful for my work family. Everyone at Atlas that worked their tails off this year to make sure we did everything we could to support our travelers, our vendor partners, and contracted facilities. Atlas evolved this year, more than ever before. We didn’t change, because change is arbitrary. We evolved. Evolution is purposeful and necessary. Our evolution may have seemed painful at times, but in the end, we are stronger than ever before.

Evolution of the travel nurse industry and giving thanks

Speaking of evolution. Our industry has evolved in many, many ways. So, I'm especially thankful for the traveling healthcare professionals that put their trust in Atlas MedStaff — to all of the travel nurses, techs, and therapists. I’ve said it so many times, I could NEVER do what all of you do. I’m not strong enough.

I know it isn’t easy. Far from it.

We see the tears and the pain. We know how tired you are. We hear your frustrations. But through all that, you get up every day and do your job. Atlas nurses are a cut above the rest, and you show that shift after shift and contract after contract. “Thank you” isn’t nearly a strong enough statement to show our gratitude. So, all of us at Atlas get up every day and give you 100%. It’s how we show you we care.

I’m thankful for my friends. My comic book and action figure friends, my craft beer friends, and my random friends.

I’m thankful for MY teams at Atlas, the Brand and Experience teams. They do work like no one else in our industry. Behind the scenes, they help make Atlas unique and personal. Their work is usually anonymous, but the results are extraordinary.

I'm thankful for my podcast, “A Beer with Atlas”, and my two podcast partners. We are so lucky to have travelers that love craft beer as much as we do. Each week, we get to share the beers you bring us and talk about anything and everything that goes along with them. What does craft beer have to do with travel nurses? More than you can possibly imagine!

I’m thankful for music. Without music, life would be pretty dull. (Ok, I’m thankful for most music. I could do without modern country and Mariah Carey’s Christmas album.)

Ignore the dumpster fire of 2020, focus on the positive

Finally, I’m thankful for the health and well-being of everyone around me. Now, I understand, the phrase “around me” is somewhat relative this year. To be clear, it means all of you. My friends, family, work family, travelers, and everyone else I interact with daily.

I’ve been lucky, I haven’t lost anyone to the virus yet. But I know we aren’t even close to getting through this. It isn’t going to just disappear. It’ll probably get worse before it gets better. Stay strong. Lean on each other. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We are all in this together.

If you’re finding it hard to be thankful this year, you aren’t alone. But like I did, dig deep. There is so much to be thankful for this year.

It’s easy to call 2020 a dumpster fire (in a lot of ways you’d be right). Focus on the positive. Nothing good comes from the negative. There really was so much good this year. You just have to look for it.

Be safe. Be well. I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving, in whatever form that takes this year.