After a year of ups and downs and many surprises, I remain thankful. It’s very easy to sink into self-pity. With Facebook and Instagram constantly rolling everyone else’s highlight reels, it’s only natural to feel like you’re the only one on Earth who is going through hard times.
But that isn’t the case.
With this year winding down, I'm thankful I've learned to be open and to let people in. When times get tough, it takes too much energy to keep everything inside and just smile. It’s so much easier to TALK about our problems. Most struggles are more of a passing phase than a permanent place, and the more you hear other people’s stories the more you will realize that “this too shall pass.” No one is immune to struggles. Not one single person. Family struggles, financial struggles, weight struggles, confidence struggles, friendship struggles, health struggles…
The list is endless, and not one person on this Earth will dodge all of those bullets. And when a bullet hits us, it’s okay to share the bad stuff too. It’s all a part of living.
My older daughter was diagnosed with scoliosis when she was eight. She needed (and still needs) a back brace. She’s monitored every six months and we still don’t know if she’ll ever need surgery. When my daughter first saw the back brace she decided to own it. She named it and we bought clothes that worked around it. Attitude is everything, and to this day I strap my daughter in a stiff, extremely uncomfortable brace every day. I told her from the get-go to share her story. Don't try to hide the brace because kids are much more understanding when you explain what it is and why you have it.
No one is perfect, and I wanted my daughter to feel empowered, not ashamed or embarrassed. Her struggle may be scoliosis, but another kid may struggle with something else.
Three years later scoliosis has proven to be just one of the mountains my family has needed to climb. This thing they call life really knows how to challenge us. But with love around me I've learned nothing is impossible and if there is a will, there is a way. There may not always be a solution, but there is a way to make life continue to work.
So this Thanksgiving? I’m so very grateful for my family. I wake up to four little faces that make my heart sing and give me a reason to be the best person I can be every. single. day. I have friends who lend a hand and a community my kids are blessed to grow up in. My struggles are small potatoes in the grand scheme of things, and every day I wake up thankful for what I do have. Low bank accounts, family struggles, back braces and all. I have so many more blessings than I do troubles. If you look around I'll bet the farm you do too.
Head up. Keep marching. Find the good in everything.
My glass will always remain half full. Always. And I'm wishing yours will as well.
Cheers and have a blessed Thanksgiving!