Prior to October 2004, I remember how stressed my day-to-day life was. I was in the Army, and I had been sick with an unknown illness since August 2003. I’d seen at least sixteen doctors and had no answers. My external and internal worlds were chaotic, stressful, and at times, quite unbearable (whatever I was sick with caused me a great deal of physical pain).
I remember how I would get upset at the smallest things. Stress about things of no consequence really. Things that in the grand scheme didn’t make one damn bit of difference in the long haul. Yet I worried over them. And it spilled over into my life, manifesting itself as anger and intolerance for anyone and anything around me. Yelling at my children over insignificant things. Arguing with my husband over things of little importance.
In short, I was a real bitch.
But then, in October 2004, my husband and I went to the neurologist and my world changed. I found out that I had to have brain surgery, or I would die (no exaggeration here). On top of that, we found out that I was pregnant, so not only did I have to go under the knife to save my life, we had to decide; do we keep the baby and risk my life OR do we terminate the pregnancy.
The kicker was, my husband and I had been trying for a baby for 5 years, and now, there we were, faced with an almost impossible decision. It was that moment where I gained a bit of perspective. Raging at my children about their dirty rooms no longer retained its importance. Complaining to my husband about his mid-morning naps seemed trivial. Stressing about what others thought of me became inconsequential.
This situation I found myself in pushed me to clear out the fluff in my life. And I must tell you – it’s a thing of beauty. It’s freedom. I wake up happy every day. I don’t sweat the small stuff. Ever. I enjoy each moment as it arrives. I relish it for the gift that it is. Time with my husband. Time with my kids. Time with my mother. All of it, a blessing that I’m fortunate to have. My plan is to embrace these moments every day, for the rest of my life.