With Thanksgiving right around the corner and everyone sharing on Facebook their reasons for being thankful, I, of course, have been contemplating what exactly I have to be thankful for this year.

If you follow my blog, you’re well aware that this has been a hell of a year for me.  In the last 11 months I’ve lost my Dad unexpectedly, quit my side job and started relying solely on fitness-related income, moved gyms, moved houses, started my blog, and gone through some major shifts in my personal life.  I keep saying that this year has been the worst year of my life personally, and the best year of my life professionally.

I can’t lie, it’s very bittersweet to be experiencing some semblance of professional success and not being able to share it with my Dad.  Lucky for me, he constantly told me how proud he was of me, and how he knew I would do great things.  So I know he is watching over me and smiling.

So back to my question…is there anything to be thankful for?  If so, what is it?  My answer?  Everything. 

Yes, everything.

The good, the bad, the ugly – I am thankful for all of it.  Of course I am not thankful that I lost my Dad…but since you cannot control what happens to you, only how you react to it, then:

I choose to be thankful.

I choose gratitude amidst my grief.

I choose to be happy instead of sad, and joyful instead of bitter.

The silver lining of my Dad’s death has been the courage it has given me to do things I never, ever thought I could have done.  It spurred me to do something really, really scary and take a huge risk because I realized I deserve nothing less than amazing in every area of my life.  It helped me to not be afraid of the future because I can take comfort in the fact that no matter what happens, I will come out the other side OK.  I’ve been completely heartbroken, and yet I figured out how to laugh again.

It was a very funny joke. Promise.

It was a very funny joke. Promise.

Beyond that I’ve dealt with enormous amounts of fear and uncertainty.  Hell, I’ve even chosen uncertainty over certainty in many major areas of my life!  It hasn’t been easy, but I am confident that in the end, it’s all worth it.

Remember, there is no growth without struggle. It’s the same in life as it is at the gym.  You must experience some levels of stress and discomfort before you are forced to grow and adapt to deal with what you are going through.

So do I always feel this way?  Do I always deal with things with such a happy, positive, upbeat, look-at-the-bright-side mentality?  Hell no!  I am human, and there are days that I just feel sad, helpless, or even angry that some horrible human beings still have the chance to live and my Dad had to die.

But while I realize these feelings are normal, and even OK to have, they do nothing to change my situation.  They don’t bring my Dad back.  They don’t make me a better daughter, or mean that I loved him more if I get really sad or angry.

If you know anything about my Dad, you know he loved life and was damn thankful to be here.  He lived more life in one of his years than most people do in their whole lifetime.  And so I choose to honor him by loving, living, and being thankful.

 

I am so thankful for him and the time we had together.

I am so thankful for him and the time we had together.

What are you thankful for? I’d love to hear it below.

 

4 Responses to Is There Anything To Be Thankful For?

  1. Jonathan says:

    Molly, great post. I am fortunate enough to still have my dad in my life. When my mom passed away unexpectedly 7 years ago, a week before my chiropractic national board exams, one of my biggest regrets was that I had not recently told her how much she meant to me. She knew it, I know, but but it was a missed opportunity. So that week, standing beside her casket, I told my dad just how much he meant to me, and how much I would miss him when he was gone. It was a beautiful moment, and I really feel that my relationship with him changed a lot after that. Much more open. Nothing changes us like the loss of a parent. I still miss my mom, but its morphed into a comfortable sadness, always there, but not unpleasant. Its still part of her that remains with me, and i am grateful for that. Be well.
    Jonathan

    • molly says:

      Jonathan,

      Wow… thank you so much for sharing your story. I am so sorry about the loss of your Mom… and at such a pivotal moment in your life. You must be one tough cookie.

      And how cool that you used that opportunity to change your relationship with your Father for the better? There is nothing like finding hidden blessings in tragedies.

      A comfortable sadness. That’s a beautiful way to put it.

      Thank you again for sharing.

  2. Melly Testa says:

    Molly, I hope you don’t think I am comparing our losses or at least not in a bad way, but this week, I lost my cat or 18.75 years. I have never had children. I do not know the death of a parent and I am sure that will hurt greatly when it happens. But I loved that cat.
    I am grateful that he taught me to be present to him, to talk with him, to listen. He also taught me self love and compassion. When I went through treatments for cancer, he laid alongside me, and when I got out of bed, he tried to walk me back to it. He was a healer man in a furry suit.
    It soothes my heart to read your words, …(having these feelings doesn’t) “mean that I loved him more if I get angry or sad”. He is still the blessed soul who reached into my heart when I needed it. And my world was made all the better for allowing him into my heart.
    Thank you for your generosity of spirit.

    • molly says:

      Melly,

      That’s just terrible! I am so sorry to hear that! =( I’ve had pets my whole life and I completely understand that they are a member of your family, especially if they are one of your main companions, which it sounds like he was. I love hearing how he took care of you and comforted you during your treatment. Animals have a wonderful way of doing that, sometimes in ways that humans cannot.

      It gives me enormous amounts of joy that you find my words soothing. Any positive effect that can come directly or indirectly from this tragic event gives me a little more healing. =)

      I hope you allow yourself to grieve the loss of your dear friend, and find comfort in the memories you two made while he was alive.

      Thank you for commenting Melly.

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