Thanksgiving is a time where we reflect and remember to give thanks for the good things in life. I have been so blessed this past year. I’ve been given the opportunity to write for this amazing blog, I’ve met some incredible mama friends, my children are happy and healthy, and my husband spoils me. Things aren’t always perfect, but life overall is good and I am so grateful.
I’m in my late 20s (Gasp! Did I just say late?), and I’ve realized some things about myself over the years — some that I like and others not so much. I used to be more negative, which in turn was making me an unhappy person. When I realized this not so great trait, I decided to change the way I look at things and strive to find the best in even the worst of situations.
Ways to Find the Positive
Although I’ve had a great year, it hasn’t been without its hardships — specifically medical issues and financial hardships. Yet throughout it all, there is still much to be thankful for.
Regarding Medical Issues
This past year I was diagnosed with some medical issues I will have to cope with for the rest of my life, which includes allergies and allergy shots. Every week I take my 1 1/2 year old with me to the allergist to get three shots. If you get allergy shots you know the struggle is real!
Taking a child with you to any doctors appointment is less than fun. After the shots I have to wait 20 minutes to make sure there is no allergic reaction. Keeping a toddler occupied for 20+ minutes in a doctor’s office weekly is a task. It’s easy to get frustrated, angry, scold my daughter, get mad at my situation … but in the end, it doesn’t help anything.
Here’s how I handle the situation when I feel the negativity coming on…
I refocus. I’m allergic to grass, weeds, trees, mold, banana peppers and dogs. While campouts and the great outdoors aren’t the best activities for me there are a lot of people who have it worse. I’m thankful I am NOT allergic to peanuts, dairy, nuts or shellfish. I love oysters. I like them raw and steamed. I also like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and I couldn’t imagine life without them. I’m thankful the things I am allergic to aren’t a deadly allergy.
I was also diagnosed this past year with a bladder syndrome called Interstitial Cystitis. This is a very painful disease that affects your bladder and requires a daily prescription that can be quite costly. In addition, with IC I am supposed to avoid foods that are acidic, have potassium, artificial sweeteners, preservatives and spices. That means no pizza with tomato sauce, spaghetti and much more.
What can I find to be thankful about having IC? There are moms suffering from terminal cancer and moms who can’t afford medical care. I am thankful I am able to go to a doctor and get the medical care that I need.
Regarding Financial Hardships
My husband has done an amazing job providing for our family since we started our business in August 2014. Our bills have been paid because of his hard work — not always on time but they are paid.
It’s hard for jealously to not rear its ugly head when I see friends on Facebook going on family vacations or spending time together. I wish my husband and I could spend an entire weekend with one another, but he has to work six and sometimes seven days a week. I’d love to just go on a weekend getaway with my family that doesn’t involve a wedding, funeral or a family reunion. I would love to buy myself something without feeling guilty.
The positive side? I’m thankful I am able to stay home and raise our children. I’m grateful my kids don’t have to go to daycare and I can be there every moment — both the good and bad. I’m glad my husband is in good health to work and that we have a wonderful relationship.
Questions to Ask Yourself to Help Find the Positive
It’s so easy to focus on the negative. We each have great things happening in our lives, but the one time something not so good happens it’s the bad thing that occupies our thoughts. But even in these difficult situations, giving thanks in the midst of trials doesn’t have to be hard. Just ask yourself these questions…
- How can I give thanks through this trial?
- What can I learn from this difficult situation?
- How can I find joy through this hardship?
I’ve been working diligently over the past year to change my perspective — to be more positive — and I hope you will too. There is so much joy in this life if you choose to see it. Embrace it. Your life will be more fulfilled because of it. Happy Thanksgiving my friends. May 2016 bring you much happiness and joy … even in the midst of trials.