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Challenges are Opportunities for Gratitude

Chelsea Dix

Happy Thanksgiving. Grateful for you.

I rarely consider myself weak.  Physically, most days I am very on the go.  I can lift 80lb rolls of fabric, shuttle heavy boxes of merchandise around, and log 4,000 steps before noon.  If something needs to be done, I generally jump in and do it, and hardly ever wait for help.  This was not the case the other day, and I am very grateful for the experience.

 Last Sunday, my daughter and her boyfriend invited us, with his parents, to view a property they were investing in.  The property was in between two high ridges and included the land on both hills.  We drove in to see the land and met up with everybody.  This was a very “fit” group of people who regularly hike, and enjoy physical outdoor activities.  We started where we parked, the low-lying area of the property.  As we explored around, they started to lead us up one of the hillsides towards one ridge.  The hill was covered in bushes and eucalyptus trees.  It smelled wonderful, and was breathtakingly beautiful. 

I followed the group towards the back.  I was wearing my best hiking gear, converse tennis shoes and skinny jeans.  As we ascended towards the top, I was becoming shorter and shorter of breath.  I did not want to admit defeat and stop, but ¾ of the way up, I needed to stop and catch my breath.  The group paused with me, and though I encouraged everyone to carry on, they waited for me to be ready to move ahead.  When we started up again, my daughter made her way back to me to check in.  I told her I was fine, and we made a little joke about the fact I’m not an “outdoorsy” girl.  She stayed with me at a slower pace to the top of the ridge, making casual conversation on the way up.  Although I was feeling embarrassed, her ease and patience made me instantly comfortable and we made it to the top of the ridge. 

I am overwhelmed with gratitude when I think about that day.  A challenge that tested me both physically and emotionally gave me an opportunity to see my adult daughter in a new way.  She wasn’t the spirited little toddler, embarrassed early adolescent, or frustrated brilliant teenager that I have known from the past.  She instinctively knew what to do to make a situation better, and she did it.  She was a role model, comedian, and caretaker all rolled into one. 

I know without my struggle that day, I would not have had the opportunity to meet this side of my daughter yet.  I would have met her eventually, but, maybe not at a time that I would have been able to appreciate her so much.  I believe that it is through adversity and challenges, that we are provided the greatest opportunity for gratitude.

Wishing everyone new opportunities to be grateful in the upcoming year.  I am grateful to each one of you for your continued support, and for giving my life such purpose.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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  • Susan Maxfield on

    Thanks for sharing your experience. As I read with anticipation I am also a nurse. I am greatly happy about your experience with your daughter!

    Please also help women recognize that this scenario often signals heart attack for women of all ages.

    I’ll be in soon to shop!

  • Sheila McDaniel on

    Jill- thanks for sharing.. please know that even the fittest people commonly hit a wall before then breaking through. The timing of the wall during the workout varies by the individual. So it was fabulous you pushed yourself through it. It means you worked hard and pushed yourself. Good job!!

    Happy Thanksgiving ?

  • Debra M Rylander on

    What a beautiful picture of your wonderful day. It’s good to see our children in a different, nurturing and caring way. They will, some day, be taking care of us?
    Happy Thanksgiving ?

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