Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the past year, and to summon up our present gratitude. Last year I had no idea yet where we were going and what this future looked like for us. I stood very presently on the cusp of change. From then on it became a whirlwind of moving, starting over, and accepting the call to adventure.
It’s with a smile, a shrug, and a wince that I look back on 2017 thus far. This year has carried the weight of transition, and at times I thought I might sink with it. The older I get, the more I realize that there are chapters like this. In military life we unceremoniously dub it “embracing the suck.”
Embracing the hardship and having the ability to keep rolling with it is sometimes all you can do. I am making the choice to see that what challenges me also changes me. I’m thankful for the struggle because I have grown this year in ways I never would have been pushed to grow otherwise.
What started as a rocky beginning and feeling fairly lost has turned into a new life overseas. We have formed close friendships and also have long-time comrades making the journey to visit. The travel has been as wild and exciting as promised. While it took some time to accept our current place and my role in it, I can now shout to myself on the other side: it’s going to be okay!
There have also been a lot of days in our home, this is truly the first year I’ve spent so much time in my own house. Even with a baby, before this year I generally hit the ground running- out the door to meet up with fellow mamas at 08:30. The day moves differently here, and as we lived out of suitcases for almost five months, we in turn learned how very much we can live without.
My grateful heart this year calls out to making it this far, being able to adapt and learn, and also finding the smaller, simpler joys in life.
I have always had extremely high expectations and had a work horse drive- those two things do not serve me well here. I’ve had to learn to be more thankful for little moments.
A Grateful Heart 2017: 7 Little Moments
It’s 7:26 a.m. here and my daughter is still sleeping, husband already off to work. As I write this we have visiting family downstairs shuffling about. My writing candle is lit and burning.
My coffee-now gone cold sits beside me at my desk. My desk! I actually have a room of my own here, a space just for me. This little moment I am grateful for, coffee and click-clacking of keys in the stillness of the morning.
“Come see- come see!” My daughter’s new favorite phrase as she grabs our hands and leads us off to whatever exciting adventure she is wrapped up in. She loves BIG, she has a ton of energy, and she is becoming her own person. Somedays she wakes up and I hardly recognize the person that greets me. She has so much to say, and I love hearing each new wondering.
I have confidence in my current role. It took me some time to accept the simplicity of what is needed from me at this time. But I have, and I’m here, in the place of understanding that it is just fine to be myself, a mother, a wife, and support our fellow service members here with us.
Music, song, and dance ring through our house at all hours. This brightens my grateful heart more than anything. I love that we shake our sorrows away to bright show tunes, and that the whole family gets involved in random dance parties.
I am cracking open the pages of books this year. We have not watched a television season since maybe April?! We have strangely drifted away from screen time this year and returned to quieter evening activities. I’ve read so many interesting stories!
My unit that answers every call they can. To those of you that pick up constantly, and hear about the joys and the hardships of where we are at: THANK YOU. I would not make it through my day without such a fantastic support system that listens without judgement, and with overwhelming kindness.
I am enjoying my husband: the good, the bad and the ugly of being back together in full-time marriage. I say full-time due to the years before this of frequent deployments. We are educating ourselves on how to live together after a few years of being consistently separated, and it does indeed come with a learning curve! I would not share my best and worst with anyone else.
Within the ups and downs of 2017 comes the certainty of love. We are re-affirmed in what we are fighting for. Our mission as a family is clear, and everyone is doing their part. It is with a grateful heart that I gather with my little crew around the table together, hold hands, and know that this is us. This has been a tough year, and I’m thankful for it.