Thanksgiving came and went more quietly than usual this year. Families were encouraged NOT to get together for pretty much the first time ever.

Restaurants in our state were told they could not sell alcohol during a very specific window that overlapped perfectly with the biggest and most well known “drinking night” of the year. They surely could have made up some lost ground from a big night of alcohol sales.

We still had a very small and intimate gathering at my house with six COVID-19 low-risk adults and active children who ran around like maniacs sugared up on way too much leftover Halloween candy. After an early dinner, I sat by the fire sipping on a glass of whiskey and lamenting on how I still hadn’t gotten this particular blog post done before “turkey day.”

As our kids ran around, the adults caught up a bit and talked in our family room about daily life in 2020. I let my mind wander about what I had to be thankful for. I’m not sure if it was the whiskey or the tryptophan, or maybe both, but I dozed off into that epic Thanksgiving Day nap on my favorite reclining chair.

For about 45 minutes, life was absolutely perfect for what may have been the first time this year. As I awoke, the first thing that came to mind was how I was thankful for that nap and some time with close friends and family.

Personally, the Vendilli family had some ups and downs this year, which I will not bore you with too much. We have spent way too much time in hospitals and at doctor’s appointments over the last few months and, lucky for us, none of it was coronavirus related.

While I’m never one to miss an opportunity to complain about #2020things, such as how much time the coronavirus has stolen that I can’t get back with my 86 year old grandfather, or how it has caused severe inconveniences (or in many cases much worse) to small business owners (especially restaurateurs), etc., I spent most of the holiday weekend lamenting on how our family and ProFromGo still has much to be thankful for despite everything 2020 has thrown at us so far.

Staying “positive” this year has been difficult for a lot of people, myself included. But, contrary to my seemingly negative blog post title, as I had time to unplug and recharge a bit over the much-needed long weekend, I realized there is still so much to be thankful for. This post, for example, is what I committed to writing weeks ago. It is suddenly not so difficult to write now that I’ve given it some conscious thought.

PFG had more than its fair share of bumps in the road this year, business-wise, because of COVID.

But we regrouped quickly and are back in a place I cannot complain about. The fact that we have maintained surprisingly well through a pandemic that is second in intensity to only (maybe/arguably) the 1918 Spanish flu is something I am thankful and grateful for. This year has made me realize more than ever that the primary items to be thankful for are these: our health, and the people in our lives who prop us up, and keep us going.

Despite T-rex’ing it the past few months with a torn rotator cuff and pinched nerve in my neck; despite way too many doctor’s appointments at the pediatrician and specialists for two of our three children, and despite a giant decline in business earlier in the year when social distancing protocols went into effect, we’re still doing pretty damn good at home and at work.

At the end of the day, we’re all just people helping people – and that is precisely how ProFromGo has rebounded to finish up 2020 very strong and after we, too, took a massive (business) nosedive in the early months of social distancing.

In conclusion, I’m thankful for all the awesome people around me because this year, more than any, has made me realize it is more about the journey with all of them than any destination we might be aiming toward. In 2021 and beyond my Thanksgiving wish is continued health and happiness for everyone, but especially my “three families,” each of which I am thankful for.

1. The obvious one, my actual immediate family, plus extended family, of course. I didn’t get to choose this family but I’m not complaining.

2. My “work family” of PFG team members. I did get to choose this family. I’m pretty thrilled with this all-star lineup of friendly characters that have endured 2020 alongside me.

3. Our PFG “client family.” Without them we wouldn’t have any great work to do. Without them, we’d be pretty bored. We wouldn’t have a business that has proven to be more resilient than I would have guessed eight months ago. This family chose us, and for them we are grateful.

No matter what the remainder of 2020 or even 2021 plans to throw at us, together we will overcome.

Dear 2021, we’re coming in hot and have the highest hopes for a year that is markedly better than the one prior.

On a serious note, thanks to the “three families” mentioned here. Without you, ProFromGo would not be where it is today.

For all of you, I’m eternally thankful and grateful.

It’s time for some more Advil.

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