It’s true. Well, at least it felt true. An ominous dark cloud that seemed to follow us around and rained on our proverbial parade any chance it had. From ruptured eardrums and infections to delays in work projects and car troubles. Even down to missing our annual pumpkin patch visit because on the last day it was opened for the season, a day everyone in the house was finally feeling well and available to go all together as a family? Nashville decided to freeze over and bring the rain with it. For the first time in WEEKS!
Talk about timing, right? I felt like I had become a cartoon character always bringing down the vibe. And definitely not the cute kind! It was melancholy Eeyore paired with the manic appearance of Cruella de Vil.
It’s so easy to feel like you’re just a character in a play and the universe is the playwright, insisting on plot twist after plot twist sometimes, isn’t it?
Huddled around the fire pit on Halloween night, we felt our best chance at survival was to verbally toss our October grievances and woes into the flames. You know, for good measure. A symbolic release, a bidding of “good riddance” to the past month. We lamented over absent fall drives and missed trick-or-treating. That night we went to sleep feeling lighter knowing that we were able to leave October behind finally – literally and figuratively.
But, as life’s screenplay would have it, November started with a somber note for us, bidding farewell to our cherished bunny.
Have you ever had those times? Where the hits just seem to keep on coming no matter how big or small? Like you’re the ball in a never-ending pinball game? Yep. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, and actually? Currently wearing it.
Life, it seems, doesn’t let up with its lessons – some harsher than others. And I promise, when I’m not in the thick of it all and trying to survive it, perhaps I will tell you all about the last two and a half years. Two and a half years of immense pressure in working to gain back what has been lost through trials, deception, challenges, loss, and everything else that causes one to hit their knees more than they ever have in their lifetime.
I found an antidote in gratitude. It’s not a fix-all. Our troubles haven’t vanished into thin air as wonderful as that would be. But that gratitude… goodness gracious. It’s a mighty force.
Desperate simply for my heart to feel lighter, I took out some paper and started scribbling everything that came to mind. It started with the essentials that so often go unnoticed in our hurried lives – running water, and food in our pantry. Then soon, my list branched out into the more profound blessings: good health, the sound of laughter in our home, a supportive husband, and work that I love. And yes. Even you were added to that list as my eyes began welling with tears. Gratitude for you. For allowing me the opportunity to do what I do. For being part of this community that has blessed me as well as my family in such immense and profound ways. A space where I have stumbled through different seasons found myself, lost myself, and found myself again. It’s been a journey.
I’m sure you’ve heard about it before – the impact of gratitude on our well-being. Scientific studies that have been done illustrate the positive effects gratitude has on our emotions, our minds, and our overall health. It’s truly remarkable.
I found that with each acknowledgment of thanks, the weight on my shoulders grew lighter. And those troubles? They shrank, put into perspective by the sheer magnitude of what’s truly important and all the bounty that I find myself surrounded by.
And I get it – when life is feeling hard the idea of writing down what we are grateful for can feel trivial. Like, hello! Real problems right here! But when you are desperate for the load to feel lighter? A girl will try anything. I promise there is power in putting pen to paper and physically claiming in writing all that you have to be grateful for. Try it.
I’m claiming this entire month to be my chapter of thankfulness. Embracing it in full and finding solace in the spirit of appreciation that defines this very season. So here’s to November and here’s to finding our light again in the glow of the season.