Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

'Tis the week to be extra Thankful! I love this holiday. Every year seems to hold more things for which to be thankful. This past year has been one of change for our family. Everything I had grown accustomed to over the course of four and a half years came to an end as we moved our family to a new place. It took some time, but I finally feel I can call this new place home. And I owe it all to you.

This year, I am particularly thankful for all the people, whether I have known them for just a few weeks or my entire life, who have placed a stamp on my heart. Many of you don’t even know it, but your words or actions have somehow helped me get through a difficult time. Each one of you matter to me more than you know. You have taught me, influenced me, or simply made me feel like I belong. For all these things, I thank you.

To my girls from North Carolina who check up on me, whether by text or Facebook or a phone call, thank you.

To the EWS wives who come up to me and say hello, even if they don’t remember my name, thank you.

To a new friend, who invites us to her kids’ birthday parties and asks me to go shopping, thank you.

To another new friend, who arranges time in her schedule to have coffee with me, thank you.

To the military wives who continue to follow my blog and comment when you feel compelled to do so, thank you.

To everyone else who reads my blog and encourages me to keep going, thank you.

To long distance friends, who I may not talk to very often but are still just as good of friends as ever, thank you.

To my husband, who loves me unconditionally (and I provide him ample conditions!!), thank you.

To family, who give unconditional love, support, and respect, thank you.

To my Facebook friends, who show their love with likes and comments, thank you.

To you, who are reading this, thank you.

May your Thanksgiving not only leave you feeling gracious for the blessings in your life, but also appreciated by those who know you, because there is no doubt that you are in some way making a difference in their lives.

Happy Thanksgiving!



Monday, November 5, 2012

Cultivating Happiness

“If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be.” –James Russell Miller

This quote charmed me as soon as I read it. I am always searching for words of wisdom which can help me maintain a positive perspective on the trials I face as a military wife. These words suggest that there isn’t any burden I could possibly endure that should prevent me from being happy. They propose that by viewing the difficulties in my life as mere experiences which build upon my character and strengthen my soul, I can learn to accept any circumstance I am dealt without forfeiting my happiness.
Though I wholeheartedly believe this to be true, putting it into practice is easier said than done. There have been many times when my circumstances led me down the path of negativity and any attempt to take a positive perspective was overpowered. Deployments, demanding schedules, distance from family, and moving are a few of the situations which have troubled me over the years. Many times I knew exactly what it was I should be doing to get off the pessimistic path, but the will to do so was simply not there.
When I hesitate to see what is positive, I not only hurt myself but the rest of my family as well. The kids, with their remarkable intuition, can sense the anxiety emitting from me which, in turn, affects them negatively. My husband, as if he doesn’t have enough on his mind, must take extra care not to upset me even more, and we all know there is no defined line between what does and does not make a troubled woman upset. Furthermore, if I am stressed out it doesn’t make it easy for him to feel content. So basically, an anxious mommy equals no fun for anyone.
There is no denying that there is a time and a place for pining, but imagine if we put as much effort into positive thinking as we did into brooding.  We must remember that our troubles are part of our life experiences. They allow us to grow and change and become better versions of ourselves. They allow us to more fully appreciate the good times. They give us a reason to rely on others and create great friendships. It may sound contradictory, but our troubles are the things which make our lives all the more fulfilling.
It takes a lot of perseverance to overcome our negative tendencies, but with diligence we have the opportunity to create a new force within ourselves, a force which will conquer negativity and cultivate a spirit filled with happiness.