Snow has finally fallen here in Denver - and stuck long enough for my kids to want to go outside and play! Getting them ready for the cold is always an adventure. You spend twenty minutes bundling them in coats, hats, mittens, scarves, and boots, just so they can spend 5 minutes in the snow before coming in shivering and asking for hot chocolate!
Brooklyn, my 3 year old princess, was insistent she couldn't find her coat this morning - and my husband knew it was upstairs in her room, and told her to go look, or she wouldn't get to go outside. She gave a pouty, frustrated look, and said "I can't find it!", before even looking. Like many of us, she didn't want to take the effort to actually do something for fear she would fail. Rich insisted she at least walk into her room and look at it. With a huff, up she went, and came down just seconds later, coat in hand. "Where was it?" Rich asked. "In my room! On my chair!"
As I look back at the year, I can 1. breathe a huge sigh of relief that our family made it through, even with all of the ups and downs that were thrown in our direction, 2. be amazingly grateful for a year that included surgery on my hand tumors, a move to Denver, two trips to Disney World, and the release of my new book, and 3. that our family continues to strengthen as we enter 2011 and await all that the new year will bring.
Sometimes, it's truly hard for me to be excited about the New Year, because I know with it comes new challenges. For our family, as it is with most any family with Neurofibromatosis, 2011 will be another year of endless doctors appointments, MRI's,Ophthalmologists, Neurosurgeons, chemotherapy, surgery, and working to Thrive through all the physical and emotional aspects of having NF.
Sometimes I just want to sit on the couch, throw up my hands, and do nothing. Why can't somebody else go get my coat -- I mean, handle all these problems?!?
Even as I begin whining about all this, of course, I think about the thousands of NF'er's who have NO insurance, and few options to deal with what's happening inside them. That's when my frustration turns to gratitude, for a government that shows me they care about my kids health, for places such as National Institutes of Health, and for all the specialists here in Denver I am blessed to work with.
I may be scared and uncertain about 2011, but I know I won't stay in that state of mind. Uncertainty is the single biggest reason people fall into fear and depression. Instead, as I look into the New Year, I will focus on what I AM certain of - my family's love, the friendships I hold with so many, both in person and online, and that I will always be a rock for my children and husband as we face each day together.
What can you be certain of? Each of us has something or things in our life we can count on, if we look hard enough, and in the right places. The worst thing we can do is sit in uncertainty and doubt, and, ultimately do nothing, even if it means never getting to go out and play, or, more importantly, tackling our disorder head on, in whatever way we can.
Happy New Year - make 2011 the beginning of Your Thriving Life!