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“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite – only a sense of existence. Well, anything for variety. I am ready to try this for the next ten thousand years, and exhaust it. How sweet to think of! my extremities well charred, and my intellectual part too, so that there is no danger of worm or rot for a long while. My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.” ― Henry David Thoreau

Unbelievably, the entire month of October dashed by, and now the first week of November has already ended—just like that! Last month, I had grand plans to post many times here in support of the National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness campaign, however, my chronic fertility-related health issues decided to flare-up with a vengeance, which left me debilitated for quite some time, and with no option but to take a step back from my writing plans in order to get back on my feet again. Doctor visits, ultrasounds, rest, and self-care were a must for these few weeks, and so I gave in to the retreat. I’m happy to report that although I’m not 100% recovered, I am gaining back my energy levels and the pain has lessened substantially. Those of us with chronic illnesses must account for and accept that there will be wonderfully blessed moments of good health, as well as great downturns and set backs. It’s a great cross to shoulder, though we find the strength to carry on.

The upside to all the extra rest and downtime my doctor ordered? Much time for reading and ruminating!

Now that the month of thanks is upon us, I am choosing joy and to be thankful for my life. And although I may never experience a complete healing, and my current recovery time might feel slow and tedious, painful and upsetting on most days, I am thankful to still be here, able to write when I can (on the good days).

“Discovering joy amid pain” is what I strive for in my life and in the writing I share on this blog. Choosing joy and gratefulness isn’t always easy to do, but the practice surely turns your heart, mind, and soul toward a greater good.

Can you name your blessings today and be grateful for even the tiniest joy? How might you channel your troubles, ailments, and pains into something greater that will strengthen you for the journey?

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