President's Message | 11.21.2022
President's Message: November 2022

Sometimes it is Hard to be Thankful.

As we kick-off the holiday season, I often think about beautiful images of smiling people sitting around bountiful tables.  I imagine you clicking on your NAON News, reading an inspiring message of gratitude, and being overcome with warm joy.  As I contemplated what I was going to write in this message, I kept telling myself it had to be inspiring and bursting with gratitude.  Even last week, as I sat with my parents and their physician, took my son in urgent care, sat in traffic, and collapsed into bed, exhausted– I continued to think about this message, the deadline, and the inspiration it must contain.

I recalled that in one of life’s moments, someone told me their husband had stopped using social media because the anxiety of seeing other people in their seemingly perfect lives made him feel worse about what he was doing.  I realized I was trying to do the same thing with this message - I was trying to pretend that everything was perfect, but it was busy, messy, and I was struggling to find the gratitude.  Instead of forcing the perfect message of gratitude, I realized – just like the example from social media– that the message is that sometimes it’s hard to be thankful.  And the last thing I want to do is to dig too deep into my gratefulness and create anxiety for someone else.

Please hear me that I can see beautiful things and find gratitude in my life despite being busy and feeling overwhelmed at times – I am ok.  We all know there is a point where we need to push through and find the joy.  However, there may be times that we might not be able to find or feel joy and it is important to ask for help.  I see you, your NAON Family is here, and we encourage you to reach out to your employee assistance program, your co-workers, friends, and/or neighbors.  We may even need the help of the Nationwide Suicide and Crisis Lifeline - access anytime by dialing 988. 

I was well into adulthood before I realized that our emotions and feeling do not follow the calendar.  Even though it is a season of gratitude and joy, as health care workers we still go to work, and life moves forward – good and bad.  I deeply hope you are experiencing and finding the beauty and gratitude of this bountiful season.  I also deeply hope that if you are experiencing distress or despair, that you can look for one thing today that is good and beautiful.  It’s ok to ask someone else to help you find it.  All my best in this season, no matter how you are feeling.


Amber S. Kujath, PhD, RN, ONC
NAON President

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