Using the Holidays to Gain Perspective in Future Conflicts


I have taken a couple of months off from blogging.  My husband and I embarked upon a much needed vacation to Tahiti and I knew, with my year-end flurry of cases and personal responsibilities, it might be more than I could manage to maintain.  Today, on the eve of Thanksgiving, I’m busy catching up and checking in.  

Our family has suffered great losses since last Thanksgiving.  We could be justified in singing the blues.  Instead, I embarked upon a project of printing and framing photographs of the happy times we shared this year.  We had a remarkable, over-the-top wedding and watched our baby granddaughter grow from infant to toddler and then to long-distant visitor as she and her parents moved across country.  Although our family Thanksgiving will begin with a new tradition this year of spending it with my son’s new family, and without  all of our children and grandchild around our table, I chose to give gratitude for the blessings we have shared.  

In every conflict, and during every mediation, each disputant has an option of dwelling upon the misery of the past, or focusing upon the good that has come from ending the conflict and looking towards better days ahead.  For me, Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to remind ourselves that gratitude is an attitude.  

(And if you are wondering how my trip to Tahiti went, here’s another “wake up” call.)  Our ship lost total power and was towed back into Honolulu after 6 days at sea.  We chose to “jump ship” and stay in a beautiful Hotel in Hawaii rather than take the chance that would happen somewhere in the South Pacific days later.  We returned 10 days earlier than planned.  We were safe and dry, relaxed and renewed.  And Tahiti will have to wait.  There is a direct flight from Los Angeles there!  Now there is some perspective and gratitude.

Jan Frankel Schau
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