Becoming Thankful When Life Seems Not So Picture Perfect
The white picket fence is gone, but this Thanksgiving I'm more grateful than I have ever been.
I'll admit I've fought for "picture perfect" my entire life. For a long time I felt I had done all the "right" things. I went to college, attended church, married a great guy, had two beautiful children, a boy and a girl, I saved my money, bought a home, I had my dream job, and we even had the perfect little dog.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be sitting here on this beautiful Thanksgiving Day alone. Today, to the outside world, my life probably looks a little less than "picture perfect." Over the last year I've been through a divorce. This is the first holiday that I haven't had my children their entire lives. And so we begin the back and forth tossing of children that so many of you are used to. I've quickly learned this is a road that many have traveled.
The truth is, that white picket fence, picture perfect life, never really existed. I'm not sure if it exists for anyone. If it does, its something you have decided to create in your mind out of the craziness that is your own life, but I don't know if "perfect" really exists. Some of my problems early on in life were my unrealistic expectations, some of it was unexpected challenges that I didn't know how to deal with. As great as my life looked in Christmas cards and on Facebook, I viewed it as not perfect at all. I was sad inside. I always wanted something more. A bigger house, a nicer car. I wanted to be prettier, more successful. Probably to much fault of my own I became miserable and very ungrateful.
There are many layers as to what led to my divorce, but as much as it kills me when I see the struggles and disappointment that the divorce places on my children I am grateful for it. My divorce has taught me to be grateful for things I was never grateful for before. It's made my children more grateful and more resilient too.
I am grateful for the time I have with my children. They only sleep in my home about 4 days a month because of my work schedule, but those nights and those mornings that I wake up to their smiling faces I am grateful. I still get to pick them up from school every afternoon and for that I am so grateful. I love them more than words could ever express.
I am grateful for an ex-husband who treats me with respect. I know there are moments when he wishes he could just punch me in the face, but aside from the fact that it would get him arrested, he doesn't, and he bites his tongue because I know he respects me as the mother of our children. I am grateful for his kindness towards me all the time.
This past year I have also realized what "family" really is. I have an amazing family. I have parents who drive 9 hours or spend hundreds of dollars several times a year to visit us here in Boise because they love me and my children. I talk to my Mom nearly every day and I am so thankful I have a Mom that I can call. I have a sister who also puts forth so much effort to see me and support me and love me unconditionally. I don't see my brother as much as I'd like. I haven't been the best big sister, but I love his big 6' 4" hugs that never judge me and always cheer me on. I have wonderful grandparents, aunts, and cousins as well.
The most valuable lesson I have learned though when it comes to family is that family often comes in that not so picture perfect frame. I could say I don't have family that lives nearby here in Idaho, but that would be lying. My WOW family has literally become family.
Rick is the best co-host and my very best friend in the whole world. He makes work not work. I know I can always get honesty and tough love from Rick. He has seen the very worst of me and yet he continues to stand by my side. He pushes me to be better all the time and sometimes I don't like it, but I'm super grateful for it. We have the same sense of humor, he's my partner in crime, and he's always always got my back.
Zizly. I liked Zizly the moment I met her. I often say to people "how can you not like Zizly?" It's true. She lights up ever room she walks through. She's sugar sweet, but not so sweet you can walk all over her! Nope, Zizly is going places. She's always there for a good party, someone you can always talk to, and a great friend.
Chris Cruise. He's cooler than me no doubt, smarter than me for sure, but he never makes me feel like an idiot! I'm so grateful he is a part of our family now. He inspires me to dress better, talk cooler, and to learn more about our craft every day.
Sari. One of the sweetest souls I've ever met. She's fun and funny and always put together. Hair, make-up, nails, clothes, always on point! She's one of those people that is just fun and comfortable to be around; plus she's a crafted wine connoisseur. Way more classy than I am.
and then there is Rich. El Jefe, The boss. He's hands down the best boss I have ever had in my entire life. He's not just my boss, he's my friend. He's seen me drink one too many and hasn't faulted me for it. He's heard me screw up on the air and doesn't judge me or look down upon me because I'm a radio personality/ co-host not running the board DJ.He's inspired me to move forward and push forward in life and today he and his beautiful wife Amber, whom I adore and look up to so much, have opened up their home to me so I won't be alone on Thanksgiving.
I am thankful for you. For each and every one of you that listens, that calls us, that hugs us at concerts, that makes us laugh. We 100% couldn't do it without you. You are part of the WOW family.
If I said I wasn't going to be around family for Thanksgiving, I'd be lying. These are my people, they are part of my family. Life is beautiful. I'm thankful for all of it. The highs. The lows. The blessings. The lessons. The setbacks. The comebacks. The love. The hate. Everything.