This has been a crazy week. There's been a lot of work drama. I've lost count of the people I've personally known who have died this week or people I'm close to who have lost someone significant. I'm working through some tough personal stuff.
Through it all, however, what I'm focussed on is all that I'm grateful for. The list is long, so you might want to get comfortable.
I'm grateful for the ability to laugh at the outrageous. Sometimes the options are to laugh or cry and I find myself choosing "laugh" more and more these days.
I'm grateful for the Affordable Care Act. Because of it, mental health care now has parity with physical health issues. What does that mean? Your insurance company can't set crazy lifetime limits on care or say that you can only seek a certain number of treatment sessions if you're depressed. Treating mental illness is not "one size fits all." Thanks also to the ACA, women's health care now includes guaranteed coverage for reproductive care. This is a huge step forward.
I'm grateful for my health. Yes, I have hypothyroidism and yes, I've got a certain amount of weight to lose, but in the overall scheme of things, I'm healthy. And when I get ill, I can go to the doctor and not worry I'm going to go bankrupt or choose between paying medical bills and my mortgage.
I'm grateful for my family. Well, most of them. I'm grateful for my mom, my dad, my brother, and most of my extended family. They're pretty awesome and supportive. Hell, I'm grateful for the rest of them too. I'm grateful that they taught me what love is not.
I'm grateful for my friends - the new ones and the ones I've had for years. They love and support me all the time. They are witty and keep me in stitches. They are fun and adventurous and never let me take myself too seriously. These are the folks who make sure I never get too big for my britches.
I'm grateful for Sammy and Zoey. There's just something about pets that brings about immediate calmness. I give them full credit for my blood pressure remaining constant in the healthy range. Without them, the crazy Type A side of me would win.
I'm grateful for Betsey and Ross before them. They taught me how to love unconditionally. They broke my heart when they died, but I needed the lesson on how to recover from it, in that moment. Without it, I would never have survived the Summer of 2012.
I'm grateful for my job. Each day is an adventure and interesting. Today was one of the really good days.
I'm grateful for my presentation skills. They say that one of the greatest fears most people have is public speaking, but I've never been afraid to present to groups of people. I freak out about preparing my presentation, but actually presenting doesn't faze me in the slightest. That played out today . . .
I'm grateful for the mentorship my friend Tim has given me over the past six years. He's helped me grow into the alumni relations professional I am today by challenging me at every step and always demanding better of me. We've known each other for almost 25 years and he's always believed in me and seen more in me than I've sometimes been able to see in myself.
I'm grateful to be able to finally see myself through the lenses my forever friends have been looking through for many years.
I'm grateful to finally be learning how to better handle my stress and anxiety through yoga, mindfulness, journalling, and therapy. It took me 42 years, but I finally figured out that asking for help is not a sign of weakness.