An Argument for Pie and Gratitude All Year Long


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Mostly because it’s the only holiday when it is perfectly acceptable to embrace gluttony. The turkey, the mashed potatoes, the pie! I love it all. In the spirit of Thanksgiving and now on to the next round of holidays, I think it’s important to recognize and celebrate what we are truly thankful for in life, and even in work.

Aside from the food, I love Thanksgiving because it’s a holiday about gratitude. For a brief moment, we stop complaining and we focus on the good.

I believe gratitude is slowly fading from our everyday lives. We’re too busy, too tired, too stuck within our own heads to pause and be thankful. So in an effort to expand the spirit of Thanksgiving into a year round ethos, I’m sharing my “I’m thankful for…” list beyond Thanksgiving to last well into the New Year.

  1. Colleagues who care.
    Every day I have the honor of working with community leaders who are actively trying to make their communities a better place. They lose sleep, they sacrifice personal time, they work hard because they truly care about their community and the people that live there. Seeing their passion inspires my own.
  1. Projects that challenge.
    Communication is a basic principle, yet consistently a challenge. Crafting the right communication strategy is like a puzzle where the pieces are constantly changing shape. I love the challenge of truly getting to know a community and how to best connect a government with its residents. Projects that challenge us and push us to do our best work can be trying, but also enormously rewarding. After all, everyone knows how good it feels to snap that final puzzle piece into place.
  1. Leaders who innovate.
    Browse through GovLoop, or other government news sites and you’ll find there are a lot of people working in government who are changing more than just their communities, they’re changing the industry. From technology innovations to groundbreaking solutions to systemic challenges, governments are making positive change. Leading change requires leaders who can innovate, inspire and persevere. We can all learn a lot from watching others succeed.
  1. Experts who share.
    Most people are amazingly generous with their time and experience. Without fail, every time I’ve reached out to an expert in communication, public engagement, or city administration, they have graciously shared stories of success and failure. The public sector is generous, and I’m grateful for the spirit of collaboration. As I continue to learn from my own experience, I’m committed to sharing the good and the bad.

Even though Thanksgiving (and all the delicious food) is now a distant memory, I hope you’ll join me in making gratitude a year-round holiday.

Kim Newcomer is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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Darlene Richardson

I read somewhere that when you are disillusioned by how things are, look for the helpers for they are everywhere. I have started doing this regularly, and it is lifting my attitude and gratitude.