Twelve days away for a family vacation. Actually, I am going to stop calling it a vacation, because it was anything but that. It was a family trip.
Seven of those twelve days my step-daughter had a fever, which prompted two trips to the doctor and one trip for a chest x-ray. Ends up that she developed pneumonia. Not fun for her and not fun for us.
We did have many moments of fun throughout the trip, but between a sick kid and at times ten people under one roof, there was a constant current of worry, frustration and tension running through the beach house.
This trip was such a reminder to me about the impact of ones attitude. We had no control over my step-daughter getting sick. And as hard as we tried, we really had very little control over whether she felt good or was getting better. What we did have control over was our attitudes and how we chose to deal with the situation at hand.
Don't get me wrong, there were times when my attitude wasn't even close to the positive end of the spectrum. There was more then once where I felt sorry for myself, felt frustrated with my child, and felt mad at my husband. But the majority of time I chose to take things as they came. My husband and I found a pretty good balance between taking care of one sick child and at the same time being available for our other child and the other family members we were "vacationing" with.
Last night I met up with some mom friends for drinks and catch up. After sharing about my trip--challenges and all--they each in turn shared about their weeks. Interestingly enough, each had their own challenges along the way, some related to traveling, some related to home renovations, and some related to family pets dying. We all spent some time giving words of encouragement and sympathy, and then, we all started laughing.
For this is life. Life is the highs and the lows. Life is challenges and the victories. It's not about doing everything perfect, striving for being happy at all times, or "just getting by". It's about knowing that life happens; that people get sick, home renovations don't always go as planned, and pets die. And it's choosing to be grateful for all you have and are in those moments; choosing an attitude that raises you through the tough times, and then being about to look back and laugh--at yourself and at the situation.