I promised myself a couple of weeks ago to be really grateful this month. Although it shouldn’t be just for a month. It should be all the time. When I’m stuck in a rut and feeling sorry for myself and wondering why life is so hard, it usually only takes a few minutes for me to realize how selfish I am being and how many other people have it much harder than me. But it is difficult to see beyond yourself and your circumstances all the time. It’s not always easy to put yourself in other people’s shoes. You need strength to truly empathize.
And today, as I begin my week of Giving Thanks, I am thankful for strength… and courage. Both have come in many forms over the past year. From having the strength and courage Jeremy and I both had leaving jobs in which we were comfortable and stable to Mason and Cooper finding the strength and courage to walk into their new schools on the first day not knowing a single kid. We have faced many challenges with our new life in Rhode Island. We miss our family and friends. We miss the familiarity of our old house and neighborhood. We miss feeling stable. But through missing all of that, we have found our strength… and our courage. We are breaking new ground, and it is feeling good. And when times get tough, as they always will, we first acknowledge that we can get through it; that we are strong enough to get through it. And then we remind ourselves that we are not alone in our troubles; and that we should actually be grateful that our troubles are not worse at this point. I’ve been working hard to instill these ideals in the kids too. I want them to focus on all that they DO have versus all that they think they still need. It’s hard when you’re battling Christmas commercials and toy magazines in the mailbox every day. So I need to be the role model. I have to summon all the strength I have built over the years and just be thankful for what I do have rather than what everyone else around me has. It’s hard to not show your jealousy. It’s hard to not want for more. But it is even harder to teach what you can’t preach.
Therefore I’m grateful for the strength and courage that has gotten me this far in life and for where they are leading me on this new open road.