I’m one of those people who has been inordinately blessed. And before you sigh heavily and click off this screen, know that my oldest child has epilepsy and he is totally disabled. My life is not a walk in the park. Not by a long shot.
But some days I wonder if that isn’t part of being blessed. I don’t drive through the wealthy neighborhoods in our city wishing I could live there. I don’t want a better car. I would like to have a ceiling in my office, but that’s scheduled for this summer.
I don’t long for these things because seeing what my son goes through on a daily basis makes me realize how lucky I am. I can work. I can drive. I’m not dependent on others for simple things like a trip to the mall so I can shop for Christmas.
Because I struggled through the beginning years of my career, I respect the struggles of all other writers. That makes it easy for me to be glad when I see others advance, even when they advance beyond me. I know how hard most of us work to get here. I respect that. I honor it.
Because my husband and I were broke or two pay checks away from bankruptcy through most of our marriage, I know how lucky I am to have cash for gifts and lunch (and margaritas) at Chili’s.
Because I’ve been out of shape, I truly understand the blessing of being fit…healthy. (Special thanks to my trainer who got me here.)
Sometimes struggles turn us in a new direction, a direction we might not have chosen had our pins not been knocked out from under us.
Sometimes struggles, the absolute worst thing happening, keep us from making big mistakes or wrong choices.
Sometimes struggles knock us down and keep us there until we open our eyes and see that even in our toughest times we are still blessed.
And sometimes struggles really are just part of life. Our job. You weren’t put here to look pretty and float through. As wife, mom, writer, worker, sister, friend…there are things you’re supposed to do. Roles you fill. Sometimes the tasks and sacrifices required aren’t easy.But they are our responsibility. They’re part of the starry-eyed vows we took when we married, the promises we made when we first held our squirming babies in our eager arms.
True, they test us but they also groom us and make us strong.
Because in the end, I want to be honest, healthy, compassionate, caring and strong. And if it takes a little tour through Struggleville to get there, then I’m okay with that.
So this year, when you do your end-of-the-year assessment, don’t scrutinize and criticize your struggles as failures…look at them as stepping stones to the “real” best life you’re supposed to have.
Merry, Merry Christmas…next week.
susan meier (Who thanks the other Chocolate Box Writers for the graphics I hijacked. LOL)