My grandfather Joe never really liked me.
I won’t go into the thorny details of our relationship, but the simple truth remains. Without question, my grandfather Joe was very hard on me.
And he most certainly never understood me or made any effort to thaw our relationship.
And yet that relationship, like so many, I remain thankful for.
Because I learned so much from my grandfather – even if they were painful life lessons. Granted, he had no intention of bestowing these lessons upon me (or any other charitable act pointed in my general direction). Still, it’s due to him that I’ve learned so much about others and myself.
Profound experiences in our lives shape us the most when we learn from them, but those often aren’t pleasant and rosy events or relationships.
It occurs to me that if you don’t have those challenges – if everything was easy, comfortable, and went according to play – that would become your status quo, your baseline for what life looks like.
So, without those struggles and tough times (or tough people), you also wouldn’t realize how high you’ve soared when you do get to feel happiness, success, or joy, as well. Believe it or not, these difficult times that rattle us to our core actually make us who we are, not detract from that.
This past Thanksgiving, during our family dinner, I gave a toast.
Speaking of what I was most thankful about this year, I referenced the last 20-or-so months, even with their unprecedented difficulties and tragedies around the world. I explained that because of these hard times, we’ve also had the opportunity to learn and grow so much.
These unique and extraordinary times have brought us much closer as a family, made me reprioritize health and personal relationships, and recalibrated my internal compass for what’s most important in my life.
For that, I’m eternally grateful.
As we wrap up 2021 and start 2022 with fresh hopes and convictions, I know I’m personally thankful for ALL of it. Of course, that includes you – my family, friends, and clients, new or old.
May your 2022 be filled with blessings and gratitude…but a lot less hard life lessons you can learn from!