If you’re like me, you looked at your calendar and did a double-take. What? How can it already be Thanksgiving week? It seems that I just got used to typing 2016, and now it’s almost time to shift to 2017. Why haven’t I noticed the year-end creeping up on me? I only have one word to describe this: distraction.

Distraction is a dangerous state of being. Distraction can cause you to miss important information. It can force you to miss meaningful moments—both small and monumental. Distraction can be an avoidance tactic to addressing key issues. It can be a deterrent to making connections and building relationships.

Distraction can be toxic. So how do we get into a state of distraction?

We blame a lot of things on distraction. The demands of our work and family. A schedule packed with more commitments that we can possibly achieve. Travel. School. Kids. Television. Social media. And the list goes on.

In the U.S., we’ve contended with a huge distraction over the past year with one of the most unusual and incredulous presidential campaigns in U.S. history. No matter your political beliefs and party ties, it was hard not to let the contentiousness of this presidential campaign distract you. And now, as the dust settles, the distraction continues as people wait to see what’s going to happen to key legislative issues like healthcare and taxes.

So why the diatribe on distraction?

The late Maya Angelou said, “Be present in all things and thankful for all things.”

We are on the eve of Thanksgiving. Not only is this a time to be thankful for our country and those who came to settle America, it’s a time to be thankful for all that we have—despite hardships, sickness or the busyness in our lives. But we can only experience true, heartfelt thankfulness if we take the time to be present. We can only be in this moment and thankful for what we have in this moment if we ditch the distractions.

Beginning right now, as you read this, I invite you to join me in the present. Forget the disagreement you had with a coworker in a meeting. Instead, reach out and thank that person for challenging the conventional thinking of the team. Take time to call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while and thank him or her for being an important part of your life. Thank the police officers or firemen in your community who have to work on Thanksgiving Day. Thank your spouse, your kids or other important people in your life for simply loving you on both your good days and your bad days. Get the picture? Embrace the present with thankfulness.

A heartfelt Happy Thanksgiving from Promotional Consultant Today and the PPAI Publications team. Now it’s time to thaw the turkey!

Source: Cassandra Johnson is a tech-savvy marketing communications consultant and freelance writer. She reports on the latest trends in the promotional products industry, public relations, direct marketing, e-marketing and more. She supports clients in a variety of industries, including promotional products, hospitality, financial services and technology.