[The quality of being thankful]

—* readiness to show appreciation for & to return kindness.

            As always, each year that passes is full of its ups and downs. Though, this one seemed to have more down than up, I’m still here surviving it. If you asked me what a day/week in my life is like, I’m not sure you would believe my response. Over the last ten years of my life I have been consistently busy. If there were a word that described busier than busy, that would define my life. From relationships to work, school and all the little stuff in between, most of us have various roles we play out in our lives. Mine include being a wife, full-time graduate student, full-time counselor, intern and the list goes on. With these roles, we often overlook the things we have to be grateful for.

            Although this is the busiest time of the year for most, let this serve as a small reminder of the true meaning of gratitude. Thankfulness does not have to be limited to Thanksgiving or the holiday season, because each and every day we grow and learn to appreciate the little things. We will look back someday and realize they were the moments and people that should have been cherished in the present.

            Despite the fact that I hardly see my wife, I am rarely ever home, and laugh at the thought of my social life, I am thankful I have this life to juggle. If you had asked me ten years ago if I thought I’d be where I am today, I would’ve ignored your sarcasm. If you told me that I would be married for three years, five months short of my Master’s degree and landed my dream job, maybe it wouldn’t have been so difficult to make it here. Alas, it was strenuous. But I am grateful for that. For the struggles, the downfalls and the hardships. They taught me to persevere, to be strong and rise above. I think deep down we all have that inside of us. It just takes some a little more to discover. So if you are out there and struggling day in and day out, just know you will find your way. It may seem a daunting task at the moment to think about the bigger picture, but please, just try. Be grateful for the bad days because wrapped in each of them are little lessons that are longing to be learned. I hope you have learned your purpose, as I have mine.

            So as I sit here thinking about what I am grateful for, I don’t dwell on the things I don’t have or the demise that brought me here. But I hold onto the memories and the people in my life who have kept and continue to keep me going every day. You are the reason for my gratitude. Please hold on.

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