Monday, September 19, 2011

It is up to you...

In my life I have learned that happiness is a mindset.  It is up to each one of us if we will be happy or unhappy.  And if you really put your mind to it, you can turn a situation around - even when it feels impossible and incredibly hard. 

In 2007 after we received the news that Bianca was suddenly in the fight for her life, I made the deliberate decision that I would actively look for things to be positive about.  I wasn't going to allow negative thoughts to fill my mind.  I didn't want to look back and only remember feeling sad.  This was Bianca's life despite dealing with cancer.  She deserved to have some happy memories even when the journey was a difficult one.  And there was Caitlyn too.  Caitlyn was simply a baby.  She was 3.5 months old when Bianca was diagnosed 2 weeks before she turned 4.  By the time Bianca finished treatment Bianca was 6 and Caitlyn already 2 and a half.  That is a large chunk of their lives that would have been totally wasted if we chose to be down in the dumps all of the time. 

And so in that first week as I sat there desperately trying to make normal and keep happy I made the decision that would end up making the whole journey much more manageable.  And sure, at first actively working hard to find positives was extremely hard work (and sure there were days that were harder than others), but before long the positive state of mind happened more automatically.  I didn't have to put so much effort into it. 

In those early days each morning I would tell myself if I can get through today, then I will be fine.  And so tomorrow would come and I found that indeed I was fine.  I guess for me it felt a bit like running a race - "just one more step, just one more step" and after a while I started looking back and I realised how much progress we made, how far we've come even when there were times that it felt as if time simply stood still, as if the world kept moving around and we were left behind, forgotten, invisible.

In 2007 my personal motto became "we can't choose what happens in life, but we can choose how to handle it" and that for me was what made such a huge difference in my life! 


Paul said...

I like your analogy of a race to get over the hard times. As a competitive runner I know how painful the steps can be.Those years of Bianca's sickness were obviously extremely challenging steps that you had to take.

Buttons said...

Oh this is such a great post. I like the race quote. You are a very strong woman when I see Bianca now I can see you kept it all together. She is a beautiful well adjusted child she probably never new how scared her Mom was inside. My hat is off to you, a job well done and you are an awesome Mom. I have been having a few of those races myself lately "One step at a time". B

blackhuff said...

I like this analogy to get through the difficult times. I love this post as I too am going through a difficult time with my son and reading this post, made me realise, to just get through each day. One day at a time.