Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, a day we as a world are to reflect on all the things we are thankful for. So much of this day ends up being spent running around like maniacs: cooking, cleaning, rushing, shopping, and of course so many of us prepare for Black Friday. We may spend a few minutes gathered around a table and give thanks to something we are grateful for all while are mouths are drooling at the turkey and stuffing set in front of us. The day ends with stomach aches and exhaustion.

I have a goal this year and that is to be more grateful for the little things I have in my life. I will never forget being around the age of twenty in the darkest hours of my chronic pain journey and literally praying aloud: “God if you take away my pain, I will just be happy to be able to enjoy reading a novel again.” Honestly, that was all I wanted. I have that now and yet completely take it for granted. My pain was not taken away but because I was fortunate enough to learn how to manage it naturally I am able to read every night. Twelve years ago that would have been life changing for me, now it is just something I take for granted. As I said in my previous post, I truly want to focus more of living in the moment. That is a huge goal of mine and goes right along with gratitude. So many of our goals whether it be weight loss, eating more healthy, or spending less money are never fulfilled. Why? Because we make our goals so large that they are totally unattainable. When we set a goal for ourselves we must make it small, manageable, and put into steps. Furthermore, we must stop being so hard on ourselves. When I hear someone say: My goal this year is to go to the gym five days a week and lose thirty pounds, I do an inside eye roll because people set themselves up to fail. Instead of saying: I will go to the gym six days a week and lose thirty pounds, one should break their goal down day by day. If you have never gone to the gym, odds are you are not suddenly going to start going six days a week. If this person wants to reach a goal of losing weight he or she has to start slower. The goal should be: I will go to the gym two days this week and not eat anything past seven pm. Once the week is over and this goal has been reached make another goal for the following week. With that rambling example written out, here is my goal for this Thanksgiving weekend. I will put my focus on the here and now for the next four days and live for the moment. When I start to dwell on the future, I will bring my mind back to present time. I will also focus on everything I have at this moment in time instead of thinking of the things I do not have.

I am grateful for this picture. We took Kayci to the mall this past weekend to see Santa. Last year she was an infant and loved Santa and the picture was amazing. This year….not so much. The first set of pictures taken, Kayci is crying her eyes out. We tried and tried again until we came to the conclusion this year she needed Mommy to sit with her. Our first attempt at sitting with Santa was around ten in the morning. Her dress looked perfect and I had actually done her hair with a cute little baby pony tail and bow. She looked “perfect.” This picture was taken about five hours later after we had walked the mall and done other things. Her dress is rumpled, she has a bulging diaper, and her hair is no longer done up. Who the hell cares? We are so happy in this picture. We ended up having such a fun, crazy day and I’m happy that she wanted me to be with her in the picture. I am beyond grateful for this little person in my life that I have been blessed with. To think twelve years ago all I wanted to do was be able to read a book. Now, not only can I read a book but I am raising a child. Talk about life changing. I am tired of taking so many things for granted. This weekend no matter where you are in your journey with chronic pain or any other journey you may be are find something to be grateful for and truly try to enjoy Thanksgiving day. There is a lot to be thankful for even if it is difficult to see at this moment.




2 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. Lisa Cooper says:

    Jess, my 13-year-old son has a chronic headache disorder. He has trouble concentrating on school work because of the pain. I’m getting nowhere trying to teach him mindfulness. Do you have any other suggestions that might enable him to get to the point where he’d be able to read a novel?

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