dana2{November 2015}

I don’t know how many of you remember the TV show “Hee Haw,” but if you do, you’ll remember the regular skit in which Buck Owens and pals glumly belt out these lyrics in shared desolation: “Gloom, despair, and agony on me. Deep, dark depression and excessive misery. If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all. Gloom, despair, and agony on me.”

That’s a nice way to start out this gratitude issues, now isn’t it? I know. But seriously, I envision myself sitting there, alone with that woeful looking hound dog, empty moonshine jugs strewn around my feet, with an overtly miserable expression. That’s exactly how I’ve felt for the last few weeks. So much so that I’ve been trying to figure out how I can avoid this month of thankfulness entirely.

I’ve been in quite the funk. This malaise began when I discovered that someone in my life had really—and irreparably—let me down. I know that there are people who face far worse situations, and that in comparison, my plight is minor. Yet, I’ve been unable to shake my anguish. And though I have lost loved ones before, had family members struggle with illness, had my heart broken a time or two, and been through a divorce, nothing quite prepared me for the incredible disappointment—despair, even—that I’ve been experiencing. It’s not that I thought this person was perfect (though I certainly held them in high regard), nor did I consider this person beyond reproach (though my love and respect was immense); I did believe, however, that this person would honor their word no matter what; I thought they would protect, rather than hurt.

Discovering otherwise has been quite painful, completely turning my world—or at least my view of the world—on its head. And while I am not at all grateful for this life experience, I am grateful for a husband who, though truly sympathetic, is also rather pragmatic. He realized very quickly we both needed to find shelter from this battering storm. After numerous failed attempts at gentle encouragement, he finally resorted to a bit of tough love: “WT (insert expletive here)? Why are you giving this person this kind of power over you? Buck up, Cupcake!”

My husband’s less than warm and fuzzy, but effective prodding did the trick. It finally dawned on me that while I do not have control over this situation, I have something much more powerful: I have control over how I deal with it. Sometimes things in life just don’t turn out the way we want them to—it’s my choice whether I respond with bitterness and tears or with strength, positivity, and resolve. Even more, perhaps I can learn from it. After all, every storm is a school; every trial, a teacher; every experience, an education. I will draw on this particular experience to be a better mother to my children, a better daughter to my mother, and a better wife to my husband.

So this Thanksgiving, I’m digging a little deeper than the typical “I’m thankful for…” responses. This year, I’m thankful for the challenges that arise, and the lessons they will teach me. I’m thankful for the knowledge that happiness is not determined by what happens to us, but by how we choose to find meaning in the circumstances that come our way. And I’m thankful for the understanding that no matter how difficult life can be, there is always something to be thankful for, even if it’s a straight-shootin’, pants-kicking husband.


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Lake Norman Woman Military Veteran

May14CoverIn various features, we honor and remember our LKN women military veterans or active military. If you know an LKN Woman who served, we want to know her, too!

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These days, the definition of family has evolved. Throughout the year, and particularly in September, we like to share family stories. So, whatever yours looks like–if it works, shout it out! Of course, if you know another successful LKN family, who just happens to be slightly left–or right–of center, we want to know about them, also!

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