Sometimes you have epiphanies. This morning I had one about how thankful I am for everything – I am thankful for both obviously good things as well as the things with rough edges that still have an important place in my life and heart.

Today I woke up to an email from my dad explaining how his health, in particular a health problem that is normally irreversible, had improved and how he is healthier than ever (but still bald, ha). That news was obviously a good thing, but I think a big part of why he has improved is because his wife pushed him to take better care of himself. What’s so bad with that, you ask? Well, in the winter of 2008/09 my dad abruptly left my family for her, in probably the least smooth fashion you can imagine – in a nutshell, it happened over the holidays with the house full of family and friends. That’s just the beginning of the gnarly details, but I’ll spare you the rest since they really don’t matter anymore. Anyways, the following months were the roughest of my life (like, I truly didn’t feel like I was living in the same world anymore) and I believed nothing good could come of that experience…

…until this year. Now things have smoothed over, forgiveness has been granted and I’m realizing how even the worst thing that happened to me has positive aspects. Our family is one again, and the woman I used to think ruined our lives is actually enriching it. I used to fear my dad wouldn’t be around to see me get married or have children, but now I’m not so worried about that. Regardless of what happens, I know he’s trying his hardest now to be his best. Bad things happen, but we’ve always got time on our side to give us the opportunity to apologize, forgive and move on together. You can’t ask for more than that.

I can’t help but feel that this is an overarching theme to life: you stick out the rough patches and in the end, every experience (positive or negative) becomes a part of you… and you are pretty darn great. Nothing is black and white, and everything has both good and bad sides to it. From a long run that pushes you to your limit and rewards you in such amazing ways to overcoming a mental funk and relishing in the clarity that comes after it, everything is what it is for a reason and everything can be beautiful if you’re open to seeing it that way.

Tis the season to be thankful but it’s so important to cherish each and every thing, every day of the year. Don’t feel bad about feeling bad sometimes, but keep your eyes open to the beautiful big picture, too.


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