As I write this, I am sitting outside on my patio and it is a lovely 67 degrees. The sun is breaking through the trees that extend out and cover the patio. Harley is chasing the squirrels that are scampering in those same trees as much as she can from her 25ft lead. The coffee beside me (my honey ground some Dunkin Donuts beans for me <3) competes with the honeysuckle for best smell as the breeze gently brings them both up to my nose. All in all, it is a perfect setting for having spent the last hour reflecting on just how blessed I am.
Even in my darker hours, I know I am very, very fortunate. I have a husband who loves me as much- though in a much more mature way- as when we were married over 23 years ago. I have parents who are just wonderful people. They are a great example for all of us as they are still as crazy about each other as when THEY were married over 43 years ago. They also show each one of us; their children, grandchildren and sons-in-laws their love and affection for each of us in a myriad of ways. I have two sisters who are beautiful both inside and out who, though I am the oldest, teach me things all the time. I have a son who I love dearly and who has no problem telling and showing me that he loves me in return. I have learned that I may not always LIKE his decisions but ultimately, I am proud of him and the man he is becoming. His determination to do things his own way is a part of me that both makes me crazy and quietly proud at the same time. I have a host of "in-laws" who, though we don't get to spend nearly enough time together, are still family and I love dearly for their diversity and love for the ones that I love. And we can't forget Harley- my loving companion who is just as sweet as can be and keeps me moving when I just plain don't want to. You know, we girls always thought that we had a pretty untraditional upbringing considering our military background and moving all the time. We girls fought and made up, we ganged up on one another and went through loving and disliking one another- but as I look back and compare to many families- we were practically the Cleavers. LOL
I am also blessed that Jim and I both have good jobs even in this economy. We have a roof over our heads, we have food in the pantry and freezer and we have heat and ac to keep us comfortable at night. So very many people are lacking those basic things. We also have our health. I know- I just said that despite living with Rheumatoid Arthritis and possibly Fibromyalgia. But if you took the RA and Fibro out of the equation - we are both very healthy. Even more- we have insurance to help us cover my many doctor's visits and prescriptions that run into the tens of thousands of dollars a year. Yes- you read correctly- Enbrel alone is $20,000 a year. But with my insurance- it only runs us $40.00 a month for that one- thank goodness.
We are blessed to have a few really good friends who have kept in touch with us despite the distance after our move two years ago. Their love and friendship have meant the world to us and took the sting out of finding out who lives the "out of sight, out of mind" way of handling their relationships.
Even my RA has been a blessing in disguise. I bet you are thinking "She's gone nuts!" But it has. It has forced me to slow down. It has forced us to be more resourceful. In rough financial times pre-RA, I would have just taken a second job. That would have helped us to get through the rough spot, and then we would have started to live up to the extra income without saving anything. Then something would happen that would set us back again and we would take extra hours to get through that. It was a vicious cycle. Now- that is just not possible. Now- when we hit a rough patch, we automatically tighten our belts to get through. We may not have savings, we may not have a ton of disposable income, but we have found that we do have what it takes to cut back and make it through. And that is a WONDERFUL feeling.
I am so blessed in so many ways that I could keep going on forever- but it is time for my MTX shot and my Sunday nap- something else I never would have scheduled before my diagnosis.
I hope that everyone can take a few moments today and count their many blessings.