I have mentioned before that I feel like I live in a perpetual state of gratitude. I am acutely aware of how fragile and fleeting this one life we’ve been given is and I try not to take it for granted. My daily appreciation hangs out at the edges of my consciousness and has become part of who I am. It stems from losing my brother and almost losing my life in an accident when I was eleven. But the fires of gratitude have been stoked all my life by the wonderful, if hard fought, ways that things have unfolded. I really don’t know why some things have to be so hard. I don’t always believe that ‘everything happens for a reason’ because sometimes there are no reasons. Sure, we might learn a valuable lesson from having gone through something difficult or challenging but that is not necessarily the reason something happened. Making sense out of the senseless doesn’t make it any less senseless in the first place.
More than even my struggle with infertility, the process of deciding whether to domestically adopt to complete our family took a huge toll on me. I am just not an indecisive person. I am thoughtful, well researched, well considered, even measured sometimes, but not indecisive. But that year of do nothing that spanned from my DE cycle failure through the end of 2010 sucked my life energy dry. That prolonged period of angst and strife and worry and vacillation was completely unlike anything I’d ever been through.
It wore me down and wore me out and subtly but obviously changed my daily attitude. Even though we’d made the decision to adopt and were through Phase I and had begun our home study, I was still in a malaise. I knew it was going to be up to me to pull myself out of my hole. And so, I committed myself to doing so. It’s been 19 days since that post and I have not had a bad day. Even today, though I am not feeling great, and after an emotional day yesterday after having a revelation that sent me to the Internet to find a therapist, I have not slipped back into the rut of negative thinking that plagued me.
And it has to do with living in gratitude. Not the blow smoke up your ass gratitude, but the to my core, humble, I am so lucky to be who I am and have what I have having trudged through hell sometimes to get it, kind of gratitude. I acknowledge and accept that my journey has not been easy. Tragedy and loss have been by life’s route markers. But everything that the struggle has taught me about who I am and what I want for my life and my family, makes me grateful for having gone through it and to be standing in the life that I live today.
I attended a memoir writing workshop last night. It was not at all what I expected. I expected it to be a lecture. We did discuss the components of a memoir and the leader of the workshop read excerpts from many. However, we mostly did a number of timed “free writes”. We were invited to read our passages aloud. We spent time talking about finding one’s voice in writing the story. And that made me think. Sure, my story is often sad and painful. It hurts me to remember parts of it. Death of loved ones is a haunting recurring theme. Somehow though, when I finally write the story, my voice will be one of gratitude.
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”