“Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.”
2012 has been rough for many of us including myself. This past year has hurt me in so many ways. I feel it has been the worst year of all my forty-three. I’ve been battered and bruised and my ego has surely taken a hit. 2012 had me on the ropes and seemingly down for the count more times than I’d like to remember but I keep getting up and that is the important thing…and I’ve grown immensely; in confidence, character and compassion.
This past year has certainly been a lean year as I’m sure it has been for many people but as awful as this year has been it has given me a gift that a million good years could never grant me; the gift of appreciation.
Previously in my life like so many others, I measured success in dollars and although I have never been rich I have generally been comfortable; enough to have a secure roof over my head and more than enough food to eat with a little left over for small indulgences such as trips to Starbucks, dinners out a couple of times a week and frivolous clothes shopping excursions every once in a while. No matter how much I had, I found myself wanting more. It seemed in my warped frame of mind that there was always something I seemed to lack compared to other people around me who always seemed to have more. It was as if I never measured up and that was a refection on me as a person.
I would go to the mall and pass by “Joe Brown’s Caramel Corn”, a long-time popular fixture there. I would smell the caramelly goodness and lament that I couldn’t afford a treat. The place was always busy at the time and it seemed to me I was the only one who had to pass it up and I felt bad.
This past year has wiped out any non-necessary spending at all including my sale hunting shopping trips to the mall…but as it has a tendency to do: life goes on and I couldn’t just sit at home anymore and feel sorry for myself. I returned to the mall and passed by Joe Brown’s but I had been altered somehow. I smelled the heavenly scent emitting from that popular spot but instead of feeling bad because I couldn’t partake in some caramel corn I felt grateful to be able to appreciate the yummy smell. I walked around and people-watched and just took it all in and for really no reason at all I felt elated!
And then it hit me… I was enjoying myself and I didn’t need a dime to do it. I discovered what I had been missing all along: a sense of appreciation just to be alive. This was a feeling that perhaps I never truly had before. It is easy to pay lip service and say you appreciate the small things but to really and truly feel it is quite another thing.
It is a gift that hardship has given me. I have my health and most importantly a family that loves me and that is so much more important than anything! In that I am rich and no matter what the future may bring, I will always carry that around in my heart.
Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year full of LOVE and togetherness with family and friends.
♥ Nancy (Strawberryindigo.)
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough”