My Pandemic Panacea

If you, like me, are still scrolling through email today, you’re hoping to check easy things off your list.

Try this: List three things you’re grateful for.

I’ve been doing this more or less every day — at the suggestion of Anne, one of my Adamantine colleagues — for the better part of a year. The idea is to give thanks for the non-obvious.

It has been a real-life gamechanger for me.

You might resist. If so, know this: I was once just like you.

I wasn’t born giving thanks for things — quite the opposite. Even when I first moved to Colorado in 1996, I was inclined toward doldrums and drama.

These days I choose to cultivate a different life — one into which I invite gratitude and grace. I’ve been inspired to do so by the many game-changing leaders in oil and gas I work and talk with. These leaders make crystal clear: Gratitude and grace in the workplace are gamechangers. These qualities slow you down, help you see the big picture, and help connect you with your biggest superpower as a leader — everyone else in your company.

On this day to give thanks, here’s my longer list of what I’m grateful for. What’s on yours?

  1. My health. Seems a bit obvious in a pandemic, admittedly. However, the past few years I’ve struggled with chronic migraines, and now I can really appreciate the blessing of a day full of energy and free of pain. Yay today!
  2. You, the reader. You give me a reason to pull together my optimism, articulate my best thoughts, and strive to make a difference.
  3. The progress of incrementalism (aka getting older and seeing the long view). Because I have more, ahem, time on my side, I can see that small efforts (like daily gratitude!) or writing a weekly email add up to something meaningful.
  4. The occasional grace of teenage boys. Once in a while I get a “I love you, mama” said with a kind of sincerity that can carry one through a pandemic.
  5. Daily walks with a guy I still like. In 2021, Brian and I will celebrate 20 years of marriage. Lucky me!
  6. The miracle of a company with a crazy vision. We are five years in, and somehow I get to run a company where we work with an industry we love in order to build bridges to the future that should be impossible.
  7. Interns who stay. I haven’t yet written about Gen Z, because I’m busy learning from Scott and Kelsey how much they have to offer the present and the future.
  8. Work soulmates. Is there such a thing — never mind two? If so, I’ve found them in Anne and Lindsey.
  9. The 2021 holidays. In the greater Denver area, we have a huge, crazy, fun Schuller clan, whom I used to see at least monthly, and it was one of the great joys of my life. I miss them terribly and look forward to 2021 holidays with all of them healthy.
  10. The pecan pie. That I’m going to make today.

Wishing you and yours (alone or together) a wonderful Thanksgiving.

More Articles

Why Diversity of Thought Matters

Promoting “diversity of thought” is a common and seemingly innocuous approach to kicking off diversity and inclusion efforts within many companies. In practice, it can accidentally set off a culture war that you’ll struggle to contain. Here’s what you need to know to avoid this very common mistake.

The Opportunity of Rising Gas Prices

It’s been maddening to watch the unfolding drama around rising gasoline prices in the United States. The conversation has been completely untethered from the reality of the need for oil supply and relevant infrastructure; instead, it settles for blaming petroleum companies for price-fixing.