Giving Thanks for the Tough Times

As I look back over many years I’m often reminded of the setbacks I’ve experienced and how the tough times have actually created some of the greatest growing and learning experiences of my life. In a messed up kind of way, I am thankful for the hard times that have made me a better person.

I’m thankful for two loving parents who never made it easy for me. No matter what it was I wanted my parents made me prove to them it was important and required me to make choices. This taught me at a young age to set goals, make sacrifices and work hard. In the process I learned to appreciate the rewards and the empowerment that came from accomplishment. This strong support system also allowed me to take chances and to not be afraid of failure. As an adult I know without risk there is little reward and without putting it all out there you never know what you can accomplish. Thank you Mom and Dad for not making it easy.

I can’t say that I’m really thankful for my injuries, six major surgeries in the past 45 years. Not too bad really for a sporty girl who likes to push it. Each injury forced me to reprioritize, focus on rehab, career adjustments and make the most of the down time. With a new path, new goals and a fresh start I have come back each time stronger and healthier both physically and mentally. So yes, I guess I can say I’m thankful for my physical setbacks.

Family and friends can be challenging when the chips are down.
When I was younger my high expectations set me up for disappointment. I have learned to be appreciative of any love and or support I get. Being accepting and less judgmental of others, gives me more energy to heal and grow. I’m thankful for everything my family and friends choose to give; the rest is up to me. I am responsible for my own happiness. In learning this I have become more giving and more considerate to my friends. I am thankful for the tough times that have made me a more compassionate person

So whatever you are thankful for this Thanksgiving, take a moment to appreciate the tough times. Sometimes we learn more from them than our successes. Focusing on the positive helps me appreciate life more. I’m thankful my glass is half full.

Happy Thanksgiving,


MJ Carroll