Ah yes, it is the time of year when we think about the things we are thankful for. I would guess that most people have some kind of tradition on Thanksgiving of expressing thanks. 

In our home, we call it “Thankelfors” (my daughter came up with that name when she was about four and it stuck). Everyone around the table says at least one thing that they are thankful for.

But I need time to prepare. I don’t want to come out with something trite and, to be honest, I really enjoy meditating on what I am thankful for. Of course, faith, family and friends are always number one. 

Shoot, I am thankful that my knees still hold out going up and down stairs, that I can lift my 30-pound granddaughter and not have an episode of stress incontinence, that I can balance well enough to put my pants on standing up. I’m thankful for indoor plumbing and extra soft toilet paper, good hair days, yoga pants, and coffee … definitely good coffee. 

However, I think we really should be profoundly grateful for the profession we chose. D.L. Moody, an American evangelist known for ministering in the battlefield to both the Confederate and Union soldiers during the Civil War is quoted for something that to me at least, was life changing. He said, “Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at something that doesn’t really matter.”

What we do matters. It is a mission. It is changing someone’s life for the better every day. Whether our residents/patients or the staff we mentor. It has a profound impact in this world, even though almost no one seems to recognize that. 

So, at this time of thanksgiving, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your devotion to senior care without any fanfare. Know that you are succeeding at something that matters.

Keeping it real thankful,

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, Senior Director of Clinical Innovation and Education for Mission Health Communities, LLC and an APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real-life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.

The opinions expressed in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News guest submissions are the author’s and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News or its editors.

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