When I chose gratitude as my theme for 2017, I had no idea that it would shape up to be the hardest year of my life.
Making ridiculously tough decisions, moving across the country twice, dealing with financial repercussions, reestablishing ourselves in Los Angeles, the heartbreak of infertility, and experiencing my own sort of identity crisis (more on that another time)… The year has been challenging to say the least.
A year like that while also trying to focus on gratitude might seem ironic, but not to me. It was clearly meant to be.
I believe that gratitude is essential to a happy life. It makes what we have enough. If I can be thankful for what I have instead of constantly ruminating on what I lack, then I can find peace. I am choosing to keep all the wonderful things in my life in focus. It doesn’t mean those hardships just vanish, but that I can face them in a better frame of mind.
It is an active effort, a choice. I guess that’s why some people call gratitude a practice. It does not come second nature to me. I am a worrier, and I tend to let my mind get stuck on all the things that have, are, or might go terribly wrong. My mind likes to live there in those anxious places. It takes conscious thought to set those worries, wants, and hardships aside and recount all the things that deserve my gratitude. And when I really think about them… there are so many. Despite having a challenging year (and don’t we all walk through them!), I have a ridiculous amount to be thankful for.
As it is Thanksgiving, I just wanted to share a few of those things…
- My favorite person, my best friend, my husband. Home is wherever I’m with you.
- Our incredible family who stepped in to support us emotionally and financially this year. We could not have walked this road without you.
- Our amazing friends who have had our backs, listened with open hearts, and chosen to love us no matter what.
- Our amazing church community. South Hills, we are so happy to have found where we belong.
- The opportunity to get back on stage this year! What a joy.
- A lovely home, jobs, working vehicles, a fully stocked fridge. We have never had to go without.
- The ability to pursue our dreams – whatever they may be.
- And, of course, our two adorable cats.
2017 has been heartbreaking. It’s also been a year of growth and new perspective. It’s been a reminder to take nothing for granted, to stop and look around, to choose your own adventure. It’s the year where I truly stopped feeling like a little girl, and let me tell you, womanhood is not a stroll in the park. But I am better for it. I like who I am becoming, and there is something beautiful in that. I am grateful for my year of gratitude.
What are you grateful for today?