I wrote this the other day, and it pretty much sums up the point I want to make…
Music, poetry & gratitude
Has saved my soul
Pulled me back from the pits of hell
Where fire demanded I stay
And suffer eternally
— Precious Lesko (@ThePreciousMama) October 7, 2017
I can end this post now.
As someone who works in the food industry, Thanksgiving season is both a time I look forward to and a time that I dread.
From a business perspective, it’s among the busiest times of the year. So, I guess, good for the pocket. Bad for my legs and feet. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I am… as is the point of this post… grateful beyond words.)
But every year, I make it a point to make it a time that every person in my family looks forward to.
Since I was pregnant with my eldest daughter, Alanna, I made a conscious decision to have family get-togethers at least once a season. I wanted this to become a tradition that would be passed on as my children got older, moved out, started their own families and began their own lives. I wanted them to value these times we had together and to look forward to coming home and spending time with the entire family.
Reflecting on the past year alone, it amazes me how much things can change.
I always invite people who may not have family to spend Thanksgiving with, to join us every year. This is another tradition I started when my kids were born.
A year ago, we were surrounded by friends and my entire family was complete.
Fast-forward a year later: Daddy is gone. I’m at it alone. And… well… it would be easier to be bitter and unhappy.
But… I was determined to keep this a tradition that my children would love for as long as they lived.
So I chose to be grateful. I chose to remember the good times.
It was a hell of a year but…
This year, I’m thankful for growth.
As I went through my miscarriages, my dad’s coma, my mom’s cancer, my business closing and Jason’s downward mental health spiral, I asked myself what was the point?
I understood that there were lessons to be learned but as I went through them, I couldn’t see any of it.
In some ways, this year brought everything to a head and I finally got it.
The lessons became clear.
I started to learn.
I don’t use this analogy as a way to preach paganism but rather, as a metaphor of the point I’m trying to make.
Astrologically, I’m a sun-sign Scorpio.
One of the things that represent a scorpio is a phoenix (seriously, it’s true).
A phoenix is known for surviving the fire.
Rising from the ashes.
Being born anew.
A new cycle.
I really take that symbolism to heart.
I’m grateful that I can stand today, a far stronger person than I ever thought I could be.
I’ve always been driven. But I’m far more driven than I ever knew.
I’ve always been a hard-worker. But I have more fight in me than I ever had.
I used to want to bury the first 30 years of my life.
I wanted to symbolically burn it — even before I learned about the phoenix and its significance to Scorpios. (I wanted to make a fake tombstone representing the first 30 years of my life and then literally burn it on my 31st birthday.)
But, I’m past that now.
Rather, I look upon the first 30 years as 30 chapters of my life that have been written. It’s time to write the next 30.
Bitterness has left me.
Depression has left me.
Sure, I still come home some days and mourn.
The tears still flow when I least expect.
But the point is, now, I get that love and anger are but the same emotion.
You can’t have one without the other.
But on which end of that spectrum do I choose to live?
I choose the positive side.
I choose love.
I cast aside all negative thoughts.
I choose to wake up and remind myself of all that the good that I am and all the good I could do.
And I use that to fill my cup with such positivity and light, that it overtakes the darkness and pushes it out.
So, is the cup half empty or half full?
This year, my cup is full.
It’s full of love, positivity and light.
And I’m so grateful that I’ve come to this day feeling this way.