When Life Hands You Lemons…Well, You Know the Rest

2013 has not been an easy year. It almost seems like, if something can go wrong, it will. The entire year so far has seemed to be this way. And it’s made me just a tad bitter about our present circumstances. Just a tad. I’ve shed some angry tears, felt the frustration well up inside me to the point of bursting, and I feel like I have to keep it all down and smile and demonstrate resilience rather than scream or break something.

Chris and I have a wedding anniversary coming next week; in years past we’ve celebrated and traveled to commemorate the occasion. We’ve so many wonderful memories in years past, whether it was a fabulous cruise with close friends and family, or a weekend away riding roller coasters in Busch Gardens. This year, instead, we are preparing for his second cancer surgery. No fun weekend away from home or any boisterous celebrating, but instead more of a somber cloud is hanging over our heads. The days are counting down, and soon things could entirely change. I think that I will likely never hear his “real voice” ever again, and while it may seem trivial to some, regardless, it saddens me.

In the Simpson’s Comic Book Guy Voice, all I can think is:

Worst. Anniversary. Ever.

But then I came to realize that we can’t always have everything go our way and exactly as we planned. While it would be nice, it’s not at all realistic. So we have to look at the things that we do have going right for us, and be thankful that we can wake up next to each other in a warm bed, living and breathing to enjoy another day together. Every day we can do that is truly a gift that should never be taken for granted.

Yes, life definitely isn’t perfect for either of us. I have my health issues, and he has his. But together we love, support and understand one another like no one else can.  And time and time again we have to remind ourselves with a simple mantra “It can be worse.” And this is true. And we have to think how lucky we are to have been together for this long, a lot of people aren’t this lucky. Chris has cheated death many times throughout his life, and yet I get to wake up next to him and feel a sense of relief that he’s still here with me, and hopefully will be for many, many years to come. Even if we have obstacles to endure, even if the cancer treatment is tough, even if it strikes back a third or fourth time, we will go through it together, and that is more than a lot of people have.

We came to the conclusion that no matter what the cost, we want to come out on top victorious. But the only way we can do it is united…as a team.  We cannot allow negativity to eat up every last shred of hope we have, but optimism and a positive outlook is the only way we can fight this.

So I want to pass this message along to you. When life seems tough, step back and make a list of all the good things you do have going for you.  Plenty of people look at what we’re going through and say “I don’t know how you guys are holding together”. Well, our attitude is, there’s no choice. So we have to take our present circumstances, move forward, and think about all the amazing things we are blessed with and smile.

Make a list…and keep adding to it. No one’s life is perfect, no matter what you might think, we all have our own albatross hanging from our necks. But beyond that, really step back and see what you really have and embrace it.

Take the time and make that list for yourself and hold onto it. Keep adding to it. Read and reread it. No matter how small the blessing is, it counts. I have to just keep reminding myself of this every day.