As I sat at home to think about what I would be writing about this week I realized there was only one option — time to focus on what I’m thankful for.
I admit it has been a trying week and I have reached that breaking point several times, but each time there has been something that has pulled me back and reminded me that not everything is as bad as I made it seem.
First and foremost, this year I am thankful for the friends I have. It doesn’t matter if we live several hundred miles away apart or right down the road, when it matters most they are there for me. Whether it is to offer advice, slap me in the face and bring me back to reality or lend a shoulder to cry on. I am even thankful for that one friend who always seems to make me cry. Of course, that is how our friendship started and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If he didn’t make me cry I would think he didn’t care.
I am thankful for my family. We may be scattered across a couple of states, but when it comes down to it we know how to come together when it really counts. I am especially thankful for my cousin who is more of a sister to me than a cousin. She always seems to know the right words to say and no matter how stupid of a choice I make she is there to support me and catch me if I fall. She has been there through the good times and the bad and I know she will continue to be there whatever life may bring our way. We may live three hours away, but the connection we have is one I can’t describe and wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.
I know it falls into family, but in my opinion, my son brings about a whole new level of thankfulness. I can’t say enough how he seems to amaze me. Each year, I wonder what he will learn, what lessons I should be teaching him and it never fails that more often than not he is teach me something. This year, I am thankful to have him with me on Thanksgiving. A holiday that is usually shared with his dad, this year he will be with me. I am so thankful for being able to have him here with me, laughing with me and sharing all his words of wisdom and creative ideas with me. I am thankful to have him in my life to remind me that sometimes, as much as I hate to admit it as times, it is okay to act like a child; it really does help ease the burdens of life.
Another thing I have to be thankful for are all the little blessings I forget about. The little moments that renew my faith in humanity, give me hope that somehow and someway everything will turn out okay. I remember reading a quote about how everything will be okay in the end or it’s not really the end. Life is always evolving and changing.
We each have the option of letting the hard times keep us down or allowing them to build us up. I have learned, especially this past week through the words of a friend, it is only through our weaknesses that we find our strength.
I am not saying that if given the chance I would ask for the hard times I have been through to be relived, but I am saying that looking back I realize the majority of my strength has come from the overcoming of these hard times.
As I have gone through these moments, I can recall several people - those that have known me for a while and those who have only just met me — point out the same thing “ you are strong.” Too often I ignore those words and doubt my ability to overcome. For so long I have let the negativity of those, whether they know me or not, rule my thoughts and my life. I let the positive words escape me and tend to hang on to the negative ones. As my dear friend told me, I need to stop letting others words influence me and dictate my life. Hello hard slap in the face. He was right.
Just this week I have seen several people who have renewed my faith and made me realize that there are moments in life when we are all going to need a little bit of help and there is nothing wrong with that. There comes point when we have to push our pride aside and not necessarily take a hand out, but allow others to lend us a helping hand to pick us back up.
I know there is no way I would be where I am at without the helping hands of my friends and even a few strangers who were only passing through my life. I know I have put a lot of work to get to where I am today, but there are also a lot of people who have seen what I have done, cared enough to see my dreams and done what they could to ensure I am able to achieve each and everyone.
I may be stubborn, proud and all to often hardheaded, but even I have to say thank you. Thank you to all of those who have crossed my path and shoved the help upon me. Thank you to all those who have chosen to care and show me they cared just when I needed it.
As I was saying last night, just as I am about to lose all hope in humanity there comes that moment, that person, that act of kindness that makes me realize there will always be hope as long as we choose to see it.
I know this isn’t something I should only recognize during the holidays, but being the holidays my eyes have opened a little wider and I have seen a little more.
I know there will be more moments in my life that will knock me down and there will be moments where I doubt my ability in mysef. However, I also know there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel, there will always be hope and as long as I choose there will always be a way to get back up.
I challenge everyone to take the time this Thanksgiving and be thankful, push the pride aside and truly see the blessings in our lives.
Contact Staff Writer Amanda Moreno by email at firstname.lastname@example.org  or by calling 263-7331 ext. 234.