We’ve gotta talk about gratitude.
That’s something I thought long and hard about most recently as someone barked at me about all the problems with the world.
It’s a funny thing really, my life is hardly perfect. More days than not I wonder am I doing enough? Are my children being supported as much as they should during a time which is like none we’ve ever lived through before? How does a mom maintain a role as the rock and provider during a time when she is to be the one taken care of? And someone please help me understand how we are to keep all these balls up in the air successfully when the world we are currently living in seems to be altering at a warp speed.
These are just a few of the things which make me like most of our readers - human. We all have “stuff,” after all. Some of us go through lots of stuff all at once, while for others it’s a bit of a trickle. You take a breath, all seems well and whoops!! wait; there’s another hurdle just waiting to be cleared.
Regardless of how the peaks and valleys seem to come I have a hard time not acknowledging good fortune brought to us in this life. Maybe it’s all the moments in which I didn’t get things exactly as I wanted or the moments thereafter when it struck me that things worked out better than I had hoped. All the mess, chaos and uncertainty aside, I still wake up grateful.
Case in point, not that long ago someone was sharing with me how horrible they felt that my cancer journey was going on for as long as it was. They were sincere in their statement, true empathy for all that I had been through and had yet to overcome.
As I listened, I couldn’t help but offer how I feel about my current path, because indeed I am grateful. I’m grateful not to be terminal. I’m grateful that it has been addressed with a quickness, even if the road is longer than some. I happen to know enough, to also understand it’s not nearly as long as it has been for others.
I’m truly grateful for a strong body. One which I can now recognize I took for granted for way too long. While I may be a bit more “fluffy” than when this journey began, I’m grateful for the knowledge and acceptance that this too shall pass. There’s plenty of time for the rebound and return to the physical self which makes me jump out of bed. For today I’ll remain focused on the end goal, completing treatment and recovering to be ready for surgery.
Oh sure, there are plenty of hard days. To no longer look as you once did is a humbling experience. Never would I have thought myself to be vain, that is until I lost my hair and yet here again I remain grateful.
I was fortunate to live the bald portion of my journey in the summer. Head wraps became my thing and in time friends and those who love me, encouraged me to just “rock the bald” (and at times I did).
I guess in a long-winded way, I’m just offering examples of living a life of “glass half full” or “glass half empty” moments. Personally, I’ve always been happy to just have a glass.
The point here is just pretty straight forward and simple: find your sunshine, create your rainbow and embrace gratitude.
Sure, this world has some big problems. We are living in a time of such divide, it simply breaks my heart. Newsflash for those who missed it, the problems were not solved by an election. These struggles and problems are bigger than two politicians. We are living through an extreme time, one in which there is lots of talking and little by way of actual listening.
Take a breath, hug a child, call a family member, meet a friend for coffee or a bite to eat, because at the end of it all the world will continue to spin. The troubles will continue to come and the media will continue to highlight the bad, but if we cannot find gratitude for the simplest of things; well, then, we quite simply have lost our way. Thank you for reading.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 209-847-3021.