Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful for a difficult year

Traditionally people reflect on all to good things in their lives this time of year. As I reflect on this year all I can see are the struggles, disappointments and losses.

And still I am thankful. I have learned a lot about who I am. And I have learned to change my view of life.
  • I managed to keep mom in my home for the most difficult year of both our lives.
  • I lost a very close family relationship ... one that I thought would be with me until the day I died ... and discovered I could manage without her.
  • I grew to realize I could not be "all" for my mom, that I had to let go, and give up her care to others more able to manage the challenge of her declining abilities.
  • I said a quiet goodbye to a dear uncle and celebrated the wonderful life he lead and the family he left behind.
  • I found unanticipated support and strength in friends who walked this path before me.
  • I rediscovered the fact that I have the best kids in the entire world. I know this for a fact. Don't bother to argue with me.
It hasn't been the best year of my life and it may not be the worst - but it will probably count in the top 3 of worst years for sure.

You never really know how strong you are until you are tested. This year was nothing but a litany of tests. I passed a few, I bent under a few, and I probably failed a few. But I am glad to discover that I am still the same person, maybe stronger than I thought - someone who is surrounded by a loving family, who is living by her own judgements, and who despite the worst this life has dealt out to me thus far ... is still standing.


  1. Hi Elaine .. I can totally see what you've been through .. having had a challenging 4+ years .. we do learn so much going through these times.

    I've learnt an awful lot about so many things - and every disaster I've tried to turn to positive and taken something from the blackhole that surrounds me. I'm on my own - and haven't had family support .. it's been a challenge, but boy have I learnt! I appreciate so much ..

    It's been a blessing in many ways - seems a strange thing to say .. but I'm grateful for the time .. I'm exhausted - but each day I toddle on ..

    With many thoughts Elaine - and I hope in the coming months' things will ease for you .. Hilary

  2. You know the old saying, "God doesn't give us any more than we can handle. I just wish he didn't trust me so much."
    You have had a tough year and you have risen to the challenge. In years to come you will look back on this one as a benchmark. You should be proud of what you have accomplished and let go of what you consider to be failures. (Hard lesson learned there so I'm speaking from experience.)

  3. If I were you, I'd smile in the face of it all knowing you did the best you could. You are only letting yourself down. Your family and friends are very supportive and proud of you. You have done a remarkable job with everything you've tackled. You seem to take on more than you can handle because you don't say NO, but you're learning and you are growing. Well done.

  4. Ya know what, make that "take on more than ANYONE COULD handle" :)

  5. At one time I had a blog called WOW Woman of Wisdom. A group of nurses and I were involved with holistic nursing and we designed a pin a few years ago and I would give a copy of that pin to women I met in cyberspace who I felt had earned one. I do not have the blog any more, may start it up again, but Elaine may I give you a WOW pin. I will put a copy up on my sidebar for you to take.

  6. That's a great succinct summing up of your year; good writing.
    ...from one who's been there

  7. that is so true-you don't know how strong you are until you are tested. so far i think you've been doing well even though you probably beg to differ!

  8. Hugs to you, Elaine. I'm sorry for all you have been through this year, but I'm glad you were able to find such strength in your children, and in friends and loved ones. Take care!


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