Monday, 30 November 2015

Microblog Mondays: Gratitude

Even though we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in New Zealand, online it is almost impossible to miss, as my US friends travel, cook turkeys and share recipes and enthusiasm for pumpkin lattes (whatever they are), or talk about things and people in their lives for which they are thankful. Those of us who are very early in the journey towards a happy life without the children they had hoped for, often struggle to be thankful for anything, but those of us who are many years into this life know how much gratitude can help us in this journey, and it is something I’ve tried to bring into my everyday life. 

So this month,  a blogger and social media friend participated in a month of daily gratitudes, and commented one day that she was “grateful that her hard work paid off,” (referring to a particular achievement). I wonder if she knows how much I appreciated her simple phrasing, her acknowledgement – one that we all know so well – that sometimes, hard work doesn’t pay off? My readers know this, having been through infertility and loss, and my mother knows this, as she sits in a hospital waiting for a place in a care home due to her declining health and memory, and my sister knows this, also sitting in a hospital in another part of the country, with her child who faces health battles every day. None of us are immune from the reality that you can't in fact achieve anything you want, and that hard work doesn't always pay off, and that sometimes accepting this is the hardest and bravest thng you can do.

So even though Thanksgiving has passed, I’m thankful for friends and those who see past stereotypes, who understand the power of words and who use them thoughtfully. And since I have a sentence remaining, I am thankful too for those who care for those in need, whether paid or unpaid, and all those who show kindnesses and consideration to friends and family going through a hard time. 

11 comments:

  1. You are so right...hard work doesn't always pay off.

    Holding you in my thoughts as you wade through this uncertain time.

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  2. True. Hard work doesn't always pay off and the good guys (so to speak) don't always win.

    Keeping you and your family in my thoughts. Yay for kindness and caretakers.

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  3. I think this was one of the things that shattered me in my family-building efforts: that my hard work, smart work, research and endurance weren't enough to pay off.

    Rude awakening on my way to becoming a grown-up.

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  4. Wishing all the best to you, to your mum and to your sister's child.

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  5. I can appreciate your friend's phrasing too and understand the joy when hard work actually does pay off. I am thinking of you and your family through all these tough times. Kindness is a wonderful thing to be thankful for, and I hope you're receiving it in spades.

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  6. We cannot have an easy life devoid of struggles and pain but being thankful and hold gratitude close to our hearts can surely give us hope of a smooth sail. Amen.

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  7. Yes, All of this. This is an excellent post, thank you.

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  8. I appreciate what you're grateful for. After enduring certain experiences, interactions with those who still think there is always an answer or solution within reach become......limited. I'm so glad too for those who can roll with that which we don't control.

    And everything Lori said.

    Holding a thought for you and your family. I'm sorry for all you and they are going through.

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  9. It's a hard lesson to learn, and unfortunately one that people have a tendency to forget or gloss over. But yes, sometimes very hard work doesn't pay off. And that sucks.

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  10. Great post, & unfortunately true. :( I'm also grateful for good friends who just abide & empathize, instead of trying to always put forward the "bright side" -- because sometimes there isn't one, or even if there is, it can be pretty damned hard to see. :p

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  11. Sending you hugs ... Caregiving to one you love in decline is uniquely difficult and hospitals only add to the disorientation and state of mind.. May you find a welcoming place to ease the transition. xo

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