Friday, November 29, 2013

A Difference

Minds are a weird thing, you know?  As I was prepping for Thanksgiving this year, I couldn't help but think of Thanksgiving two years ago.  It stands out as vividly in my memory as if it had been yesterday, mostly because I was so phenomenally unhappy.  I remember cooking my green bean casserole alone in a cold, dark, quiet house.  I longed for the Thanksgivings of my childhood - a warm, busy house full of delicious smells and the buzz of holiday excitement.  I remember literally curling up in a ball under the kitchen table and weeping because I felt so empty and so desolate and I knew in my heart that nothing would ever be good again.

It's amazing the difference two years can make.  Technically nothing has changed - Chris was still in bed, my heater was still set to 67 degrees as it always is in the winter - and yet I felt full of that excitement I had so craved.  I watched the parade as I straightened up the living room.  Green bean casserole and baking turkey cooked in the oven, filling the house with their mouthwatering aroma.  I lit candles, I turned on the lights.  I played Christmas music and sang to the cats.  I brought decorations down from the attic and wore festive holiday socks.  The setting was the same; it was I who had changed.

I do not know what has made this change within me.  Is it a simple change in mindset?  Helpful words spoken by friends and family?  A change in the chemicals in my brain?  A wonderful gift God? Perhaps all of the above.  All I know for sure is that somewhere between March and May, a switch was flipped in my brain.  A switch that made me realize how lucky I am to have friends and family who care about me, a job, a home.  It made me see how beautiful everything can be if I just take the time to notice.  And that's just the thing - I do have to purposefully take the time to notice.  This switch is not magical, it has not made everything that once made me unhappy disappear - it just helps me to take a step back and stop the harmful thought processes before they get too serious.  Yes,  things still suck sometimes.  That's just life.  But I'm trying to handle these bumps in the road like a "normal" person, instead of letting them ruin my day/week/month/year.  And I pray every day that it stays this way, that I can continue to use these coping mechanisms I am learning.

My point is that I am thankful, even though Thanksgiving is over.  I am so very thankful.

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