Last night, CBG, the girls and I put up our Christmas tree together. Our first blended family tree — the first of many to come.
We have a vast collection of ornaments, the girls and I. We have ornaments that have been given to us as gifts over the years. Home made ornaments from when the girls were toddlers. Ornaments that I’ve given the girls over the years. Our ornaments have no special theme, or colour palette. I love all of those ornaments; so many of them have a story or a memory that go along with them. They are all special in some way.
This year we added CBG’s ornaments to our collection. He also has a huge collection of ornaments without any particular theme. His collection blended quite nicely with ours. Seamless, really.
The result was absolutely lovely:
As we spent the evening listening to holiday tunes, drinking hot chocolate and putting up the tree, I found myself feeling overwhelmed with gratitude. For my girls, my man, this life that we are creating together. I thought back to Christmases past, when the girls were little and their dad and I were still together. My first few Christmases as a single mom, struggling in so many ways — mentally, emotionally, financially.
I felt grateful for absolutely everything. Every year before this one. Every struggle, every heartache. Because it was all of these things that have worked to bring me where I am today, to this place of so much love and happiness. I would endure it all again — 10 times over — if it would bring me to tonight.
I know that there are some of you reading this who might be in that place of struggling. Maybe things feel hopeless. Maybe you wonder what in the hell you’re doing right now in your life. The future can seem extra frightening when you’re in that place of sadness and uncertainty. If you’re one of those people, then you should know that it won’t always be like this. Good things will come, if you are willing to keep pushing forward and reaching for them. You must be willing to continue doing the work. As hard as it might be to do, focus on what you’ve got right now. If you can find happiness and joy in whatever your situation is — regardless of how much you’re struggling — when things become easier, then you will appreciate it all the more.
Joy feels even sweeter when you’ve overcome obstacles to get there. Four years ago, none of this seemed possible. And yet here I am. Simultaneously loving it all and still reaching for more.