Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

What If You Were A Balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Growing up my father worked at a company whose offices faced 7th Avenue in New York, along the parade route.  The families of the employees would come and watch the parade from the warmth of the offices.  It was amazing to see the big balloons pass by, almost scary because of their enormity.  The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is still one of those things I look forward to every year.  It’s just a part of the holiday, and as I’ve grown older I’ve started to see how certain, even silly, things have a bigger meaning about how we live our lives; especially after being diagnosed with a chronic or life-altering illness.

I was discussing this idea of the parade balloons last night with a client.  I asked her, “What if you were a balloon in the parade, who or what tethers you to the ground?”  That’s a pretty tall order if you ask me (no pun intended).  If we aren’t tethered or grounded we’d just float away.  We’d just ramble through our lives, bounding around, constantly in search of something, but not really knowing what that something is.

So sit back, close your eyes (after you finish reading this post) and ask yourself how am I tethered/grounded to my life?  Who are the people who make me feel connected and loved, that grounds you.  What relationships do I have that are true, unconditional, and solid; that grounds you.  What activities, passions, causes are in your life that give you joy and provide meaning for who you believe you are; that ground you.  What are you pursuing in your life that allows you, encourages you, may even force you to go deeper into your soul (it creates a root system so you have a strong foundation); that grounds you.

I hope you’ll give this some consideration, because following the diagnosis of a chronic or other life-altering illness it’s easy to feel free-floating.  It’s common for me to hear stories from clients that they are drifting and aren’t sure where they are going to land.  Your life is big and having ways to stay grounded is crucial for your journey to health and healing.  If you’re a little short on those things that keep you grounded consider what your next step(s) might be and take one and begin that journey.  If you have any questions you can always email me at

Peace to you and your family on this Thanksgiving Holiday!!!



I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

One thought on “What If You Were A Balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

  1. Hi..I am thankful that you are blogging again! I also like Mary Oliver and here is part of a poem that is in her book, West Wind:

    Did we sleep long? Is it this life still, or
    is it the next life, already? Are we gone, then?
    Are we there?

    How will we ever know?

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