Determination, and thankfulness

Today I am determined...and thankful...and determined to be thankful, and thankful to be determined.

Here's why:
I'm determined to make it through this tough period in our lives healthier, and happier than I ever was before. It's been a rocky road, but as I told Bill the other day when he was wishing things would just stop being so hard, with all of the hard stuff that has been going on I am still happier than I was for almost the entire decade of the 1990s.

It's rough, living with depression, and not knowing how to make the grey cloud go away...and that was me for nearly that whole decade (with the exception of the time when I was rowing - producing endorphins). Emma was born at the end of 1999, and that is when I finally realized I needed help and started the road to a happier Pam.

So, darling friends, even if I get a bit morose on here, don't ever think I am really all that bad-off. I have tools to deal with my clouds, and I know how to use them.

As a matter of fact, it's the fact that I have these tools and I'm so eager to use them that led me to get worried about Emma. She's actually doing better than I may have led people to believe, but I'm not willing to see her suffer alone from the things I did, alone (well, with Bill and any other people who were that close to me during the 1990s. None of us really knew what we were dealing with, though).

I'm thankful Emma is doing so well with her transition to school this year. She has a lovely group of friends - considerate, playful, and youthful girls - and according to Emma, they are all playing well together and being kind to not only one another, but to all the other lonely souls in school. I can't help thinking of all of the lessons I've been determined to teach her (not that this is all my doing. In her heart of hearts she is the most naturally empathetic of all of my children.) - to look for the good in people and to look for opportunities to spread sunshine.

I am thankful that Miss Emma stuck it out and learned some lessons from how she was treated by girls who were maybe not-as-empathetic last year. I'm thankful that we chose to switch her schools last year, because I feel like this being-a-4th-grader in a 3/4 classroom has been very good for her this year at an otherwise hard time in her life. She is loving school, and school and her friends are giving her confidence and helping keep her mind off of her other worries. If any of her friends' moms ever read this - thank you for raising kind daughters!

I'm also thankful for other smaller things - my Irish Setter puppy (who is an almost constant source of joy for me these days), my two beautiful older pets who are still going strong (15 year anniversary of adopting Maddie yesterday!!! and both D and Maddie had good, but expensive, annual vet checks yesterday), and my little kitten, who is sweet. I'm thankful for this laptop...and for actually using my brain for once to figure out that I can USE IT IN THE GARDEN. (And I'm thankful for the bigger things as well - my husband, my kids, my sisters and their families....ALL of my extended family members.

I am determined to be thankful for all of these things, big and little, when I start to feel the loss of other things in my life - my father, my youth, and my brain! This back-to-school season has horrified me with my lack of mental clarity. I feel like something is missing...and that leads to:

I am thankful to be determined, because that is the only way I am going to regain some of my lost mental acumen. I'm going to have to be determined to fit in "sharpening Pam's brain" into our crazy daily, weekly, monthly routine!

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