I’ve always believed in responding to adversity with gratitude. But I can’t remember a year in the history of Natural Healthcare Center that has brought more adversity than 2020. And I’ve experienced plenty over the years.
In 2010, a blizzard dropped 36 inches of snow that left us without power for two weeks.
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy knocked out power for another two-week stretch. We also lost the roof of the building but somehow stayed open every day.
During a massive construction project in 2015-2016, I came down with a debilitating case of shingles.
After a water pipe burst in 2018, we lost a third of our beautiful building and spent eight months under construction.
Just last fall, I had to undergo emergency spinal surgery to correct a neurological impingement caused by two herniated discs and congenital stenosis.
However, there has never been a year like 2020.
I dealt with the same challenges as many small business owners. We had to navigate keeping patients safe, laying off and rehiring employees, and filling out Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications.
Despite the adversity, we’ve stayed open every day during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, my wife, Stacy, and I have been doing a juggling act with two kids in college, two in high school, and one in sixth grade, all trying to make their way through virtual learning.
Of course, as a clinician and a human being, I’ve seen people lose loved ones without being able to see them in person to say goodbye. I’ve seen people deal with more dire challenges – financial, physical, and psychological.
On top of a public health crisis, people have been struggling with an economic crisis not seen since the Great Depression, as well as an escalating political crisis that has caused daily tension and conflict.
As stressful as 2020 has been, professionally and personally, I know how much more difficult it could have been.
With 2020 finally drawing to a close, I could be bitter, but I can’t help but look back on the year with tremendous gratitude.
I’m grateful for Stacy, my children, extended family, and friends whose support has never wavered. I’m grateful for my incredible team and family at Natural Healthcare Center. They stepped up under the most difficult circumstances and provided patients with a place where they feel safe, protected, loved, and cared for.
I’m especially grateful for our amazing patients who have remained committed to their treatment plans and are seeing the results from those commitments. We value every single relationship with each individual.
I often talk about how you have the ability to take control of your own health. You can make smart decisions about your diet, exercise, and the people around you.
When you look at the definition of health – your physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being – and the fact that 2020 has most likely been a year like no other in your lifetime, you have to realize that you can only control so much as a human being.
You can’t control a plague. You can’t control a severe weather event or natural disaster. You can’t even control the orders and restrictions announced by government officials, at least not directly.
The more we try to control things that are beyond our control, the more stress and anxiety we create. I’ve learned to relinquish control of certain things in my life, starting with things I had no business trying to control in the first place.
Truth be told, it wasn’t easy. Thanks to a strong support system and my belief in God, I’ve been able to focus on what I can control. Ironically, this has allowed me to feel more independence, more freedom, and less stress than ever.
For example, I tried to keep my mind focused on the future by completing renovations on the third floor so we can introduce new services at Natural Healthcare Center next year!
As we look ahead to 2021, let’s reflect on 2020 with gratitude, not anger. Be thankful for being able to overcome incredible adversity.
Let’s focus on what we can control, not that which is out of our hands. Let’s focus on who and what we love.
Be good to each other. Be grateful for each other. Take care of each other.
On behalf of the Natural Healthcare Center team, I’d like to wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and happy, healthy, and safe New Year.