Strength in Knowing

There is strength in knowing that the only way to live my best life is to cut out the things in it, that make it unbearable to live.

Knowing this makes it easier to do the right thing when I have moments when I feel like I can’t do it.

If I ignore what I know then I am setting myself back.

Doors open when you shut the one’s that go nowhere instead of leaving them open to suck your life away.

Keep going. Shut the doors that lead to negativity in any way you can, at whatever pace *that works for you…just shut them.

I personally work every day to shut mine and keep them closed.

It’s a process; a day to day one.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2019 ~Peaces of ME

The Universe Speaks to Me When I Listen.

It is said that knowing is half the battle, and I agree fully.

There’s another part though that matters just as much, and it’s what you do after you know.

I knew for a long time that I needed help to come back to ME. I knew I couldn’t do it alone too. I thought about change for a long, long time; for years.

I thought for a while that if I had a “good enough” life to the outside world, that that would fix things for me.

I was wrong.

I looked for happiness in bad relationships, material things, and other people’s opinions of me; like that was going to make my insides full of what I didn’t have.

I was wrong.

It took a long time to look at myself, for the simple fact that you never want to think that it’s your fault. No one does. You never want to think that you may be responsible for some of the worst parts/times of your life.

It’s easier to blame it on other people or on unfortunate circumstances.

I did that.

There are different stages of waking up, so it took me an awfully long time to look inward and actually get to implementing the changes in my life that I had only thought about before.

I’m waking up. There are still changes I’d like to make in my life.

It’s a process that I really wouldn’t change for anything at this point.

I honestly struggle sometimes to make sense of things I don’t understand. I can get overly anxious and I have to pull away and be mindful and deal with those feelings. I have bad days, but they are not full days of bad like they used to be. They are moments now; Sometimes multiple moments strung together; but mainly just small moments like my mind is backfiring, and then I come back to center and start running right again.

It’s a weird way to describe it, but yeah….that’s what it feels like.

It’s hard, still; but it’s not the unbearable, my life is over, I can’t go on hard like it used to be for me.

I think it will continue to get better the more sober time I get and the more I keep living life on life’s terms.

I am free of synthetic meds and have been for as long as I’ve been sober.

I don’t know if that’s where faith comes in or not.

Lately, and for a bit now, I’ve just been giving it over to the universe and knowing that I’m going to be ok, and that I am ok because I’m doing the right things for myself.

I’m walking the walk finally, every day, and it feels good. I don’t feel like I have to prove myself to anyone.

That feeling that has been with me since childhood has left the building.

I don’t think people really get that because they are so used to the old way I used to be.

I have cut people out of my life for that. I don’t regret it either.

They say that people come in and out of your life at appropriate times to show us what we need, so that we can make better choices for our own lives.

I’ve been embracing this theory and it’s been helping me to be a kinder, more gentle in nature, more understanding person than I used to be even six months ago.

I think over the years of trying to suppress myself, I built up walls and some things that weren’t really true, became to feel true to me.

I had to get past those things. I had to really look inside myself and look at how I contributed to my own sickness and my own unhealthy cycles.

It’s really freeing to make amends with yourself, to own your mistakes, to stop letting your mistakes define you, to make better choices.

It’s nice to be able to just live today in my skin, no matter what the day brings, and not have expectations on what level I need to be at, to be good enough for anyone else but me.

Sometimes I have bad days. It’s gonna’ happen. It sucks, but I work it out because that is who I am now.

I know I am so lucky to be able to still have this life, and I think about that every, single, day.

I needed the struggles to see the good in me again. I needed to know in myself that I was strong enough to turn my life around and that I could do good things with my life.

I needed good people, healthy people, people that loved me; to help me.

For a while, those people kept me alive, and that’s not a dramatization. I could never put into words how grateful I am for those people, but I try to all the time because I am thankful, and I know that by myself I could not have done it.

Now, today, it’s like the more I push past the fear of not knowing, the more chances I take to change my old thinking patterns, the stronger I become.

I have so many positive people in my life that I don’t want to be around negative ones because that’s not my normal anymore.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; I am waking up.

I am 2 years, 4 months, and 23 days sober. I’m not looking backward anymore like backwards is my path.

It’s not.

My path is the one that I am forging today, and it’s not in that backward direction at all.

It’s a fact at this point, as well as a belief that I am on the right path.

This is MY path.

Putting genuine effort into being well, is an investment in yourself that will last a lifetime. Once you wake, you cannot go back to sleep.

This I know.

Thinking about change doesn’t change you either; only changing, changes you.

This I know for sure.

Believe that you can change the things in you that hold you down because you can. No matter what anyone else tells you.

The universe is with you.

Knowing is half of the battle. Look to the people who lift you up to show you the way.

The rest of it is up to you, and you alone.

You can do it.

Love yourself.

J. Rounds ©2019 ~ Peaces of ME

It’s a situation. Mental Health Stigma, Social Media, Political Views and Me.

I should be more upset that whenever I don’t say what people want me to, I get slammed over my mental health issues and sobriety.

I’m not though, because I know that people these days get excitable over pretty much anything (sometimes myself included), and it isn’t worth the time to take those words in as truth, when I know I am doing the work to stay sober, and emotionally am doing quite well.

The stigma of mental health is real, and if you have strong political views and talk about them on social media, it is even harder to live down your past struggles. It’s the first thing people zero in on if they don’t agree with you, or don’t understand you as a person.

People automatically think you are talking crazy. They automatically assume you are drinking again. They automatically assume you are spiraling down. They tell you that you are wrong in any fashion they care to. They discount you.

Even if your words make sense and are directed towards peace and stopping gun violence. Even if you are afraid of guns, don’t own one, can’t own one, and don’t want to own one.

Even if.

I pulled away from Facebook again because I needed to.

After these last mass shootings, I took to my wall to let everyone know that I was tired of the gun issues in America, the mass shootings that have happened 251+ times just this year alone, the looking the other way so it continues to happen, and the fact that they sell guns in America to any seemingly normal person that wants one.

As you know, I moved from Dayton just a few weeks ago. What you also must know is that the mass shooting in Dayton was 15 minutes away from where I lived, and where my friends live as well. For some time I was worried that some of them could have been there; and I was worried.

After finding my friends were all safe, I then became angry. For over a week I posted numerous things on my wall about the mass shootings, gun control, videos on peace, finding peace and solutions, and also numerous opinions of others as well that justified my stance and supported it.

I figured I could do nothing but use my voice, and so I did.

I don’t regret it either.

It wasn’t until I was honest and admitted that I was tired of talking about gun control, had been talking about it too much and was going to focus on my family, friends, and job; that people started coming to me and asking me if I was ok.

Numerous people.

I don’t much get it.

Although I more than appreciate the concern for my welfare (I DO), I have to say that I was taken back by the fact that people could be so worried over the fact that I am concerned about the way our country works and the way we always look the other way on every real issue there is.

I’ve decided that social media (Facebook in particular) is no longer a place of reason, and in reality, never was.

Most people are unwilling to have real discussions on ways to change anything.

It doesn’t matter what you say.

This week it solidified what I in essence, already knew.

I understand that mental health struggles are real. I do sometimes still struggle with depression and symptoms of PTSD myself.

But I don’t feel that wanting to feel safe in your own country without having to have a gun, and talking about it….is me being mental.

Social media, is in my opinion, a relevant starting point for change about the way we communicate and treat others in general.

I know I have work to do myself in that regard as well.

What it is for me personally regarding guns, is me being worried for the future of my children and yours, and I have every right to be.

It is not my cross to carry if people don’t understand that. At all.

Will I get locked away for not wanting a gun and for wanting my children and all people to feel safer? Pff. It’s just too much, and it doesn’t make sense to me at all.

I am not sure in the future if I will ever talk about politics in an open way again on facebook, because if people can’t even accept the talk of reason from me and inquire to see if I’m ok, then it seems all I am really truly doing is worrying people, and digging myself a social hole for people to imply that I am still sick.

It makes me sad mostly. That I can’t be myself.

It makes me sad that people potentially see me as sick again, because I have been open about my struggles, and I chose to speak up about my opinions on relevant topics and things going on in this country.

It makes me sad that people can think those things about me.

However, I think it is the price I pay for having conviction, principles, and passion. I think it is the price I pay for opening up my life online, to try to help others that struggle.

I am sitting on the porch of my sister’s house this morning with my dog and my coffee, writing this blog so that I can assure anyone that worries about me that I am not a threat to anyone, and that I am indeed ok. It is something I feel I need to do because, like I said, the stigma of mental health is very real. I feel it is my responsibility to assure people, because I do speak on a public platform about my struggles and life.

Today, I struggle because I want change in my country. I struggle because I know that it probably won’t come. I struggle because the only thing I fear in this world is losing another one of my children senselessly.

It is somewhat of a grieving process for me, letting go of the fact that I can do nothing; and there is nothing wrong with that.

This is what I want people to understand.

I also know, that you are what you focus on and that I can’t let that fear keep me from living. It isn’t, and does not.

I talk about things to process them, and to learn new ways of understanding within myself.

It is time for me to focus again on things that I CAN change in my life.

I am having real conversations with my kids and family for the first time in years. True friends too. It feels good to be loved for who I am, opinions and all.

People that know me in real life understand, and support me. They support my growth and the process I’m going through to become the best version of me.

Today I will focus on being mindful of the fact that I need to live despite what’s going on in this world and in my country. Despite the fact that I can do no relevant thing to change anything at all, except to change myself.

It is hard to be human. It is hard to be in a world that doesn’t make sense. I think it is hard for all of us, mental health struggles or not.

I still feel grateful for this life, and for the blessings that I am lucky enough to call mine.

I still have hope that in America, we will become kinder as a people and that we can work it out someday. Together. We are all in this life together, after all.

I will always be who I am and have opinions on things that affect me. I will never feel guilty or bad about my opinions on those topics ever again. I will not feel bad for being me. I made that promise to myself over three years ago, and I am sticking to it.

I did not in any way want to cause concern to people or hurt anyone’s feelings.

I will in the future, consider not talking about politics as much in general.

That’s just a consideration…not a promise.

For now I’m done talking. I’m focusing on living this life to the best of my ability, integrity, and being kind.

Mental health struggles do not always equate out to irrelevance, or active spiriling down. They are case by case, as anything is.

We also need to understand that it is ok to struggle, but that it is essential to ask for help if you feel like you are spiriling down.

Don’t be ashamed of who you are.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2019 ~ Peaces of ME

The More You Know

I have not written words on paper for a long time.

A computer screen would not be paper, but I haven’t wanted to write here on this blog either. I don’t know why exactly, but I feel like I need to just go with the flow when it comes to my writing, so I am.

My life is pretty different then it was the last time I blogged.

I am a legal resident of Michigan now.

It was a slightly daunting move that took patience, but I financed it all myself and so for some reason, I am proud of that. I worked hard to make it happen and accomplish the goal. Two years ago I wouldn’t have even been able to attempt it.

My growth inside is daily, and I am sober. My mind is open. I’m embracing all three of these gifts because that’s what they are.

I took some time off from working to decompress and regroup. I’ve been slightly depressed at points these last three weeks, but the time off has done me some good. I think after a big change it just takes a bit to level out. My mind was tired and my body was tired too. I needed the rest, and so I’m glad I took the time.

Now it’s time to look for a better job than the one I used to work before. I have an excellent referral letter from my former employer and motivation to match it.

Time to get going again, and I’m ready.

I don’t know where it will lead, but I trust the direction the universe is taking me. I also trust myself.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2019 ~Peaces of ME

Maybe.

I haven’t written out loud on this blog in a while. I haven’t had much to say out loud at all, just kind of keeping to myself.

Most of my healing lately has been audio recordings of thoughts and/or feelings to myself, or just writing on certain thoughts and then stopping when it doesn’t make sense to me anymore.

Things people won’t see or hear mainly, but they help me immensely inside to heal; there are really no wasted thoughts or words at all.

I have been going back to the drafts and pulling from them and/or finishing some pieces, whichever happens; but I haven’t had much to say out loud at all, and I like that I’m not putting the pressure of saying it if I don’t want to.

A personal project/goal that I’m trying to make come into fruition has much of my time and thoughts.

My focus is still the biggest issue for me, but I am starting to speed up on the re-focus, which means eventually I will get there if I keep going. Money. Need more money though.

It also means that my OCD is getting somewhat better too. I’m happy about that, but still tired of being so complicated with the OCD thing.

It slows me down in my everyday life if I let it and it’s gotten much worse for me over the last three years.

It’s very annoying and frustrating, to say the least, and it’s been extremely challenging for me.

I do not know how else to describe me other than I don’t think I’ll ever have a day when I won’t be a complicated person.

The timeline I had in my head for everything I wanted for my life came and went a million years ago, so I’m just going with the flow the best I can and grateful for it.

I’m fine with the process even though it’s draining to actually live fully sometimes.

I haven’t been depressed much at all so I do feel ok inside, and I can’t bitch about that.

Being off of social media has also been awesome, I won’t lie. I knew it would be which is why I went away from it again.

Today I hit the one year, eleven months sober mark, and it feels sort of a like a dream when I think of my life at day one of this current journey, and even more so when I think back upon the life I’ve led before that.

The thing that really sucks about it all is that I feel guilty about the fact that my past is fading in my mind.

I know all the stuff I did, (or what I can remember of it) and also the people that were affected by my bad choices.

It wasn’t a dream.

I have remorse for it and will for always.

But….I’ve chalked it up to my brain healing itself the only way it knows how to, and that is to compartmentalize the guilt I feel away into an area where it no longer blocks my ability for growth and future happiness.

This is today.

Today I’ve managed with the help of myself, my family, my true friends and positive people that support me, also the grace of my deceased son, to stay sober for twenty-three months.

Almost two years next month.

I thought I would be dead by twenty-five and so the very fact that I am still going at the age of forty-seven and also sober is really all the more reason to keep looking forward instead of back.

I am sure although I struggle with life at times, these struggles make me stronger and have, to the point where I will not give up until I reach a sense of peace and understanding in myself that will resonate in everything that I do.

Maybe being passionate about living life is better than being passionate about not living it.

Maybe all of the effort I’m putting into quality healing will keep bringing quality things to my life.

I’ve managed to accomplish some things I never thought I could or would. That is a fact for sure and I think in the future, patience really will play a key roll in all aspects of my life regarding meeting more of my goals.

Maybe I’m not such a bad person after all.

Maybe I DO deserve this happiness I’m feeling inside today.

Maybe you do too.

Maybe life is what we make of it.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2019 ~Peaces of ME

Hard love yourself into changing your negative Nancy ways… because she’s a bitch.

Every day that I chose to live in my own pain and addictions, I could not feel or see anybody else’s pain, or care about anyone else properly, because I was too busy feeling and living in my own negativity, and feeding off of it.

This didn’t work for me at all, when it came to being a good mother or wife or daughter or sister or aunt or cousin or niece or friend or Jenni; I was quite the opposite of a good anything; because I was zeroed in on the fact that my life sucked, and the negativity I chose to live in was consuming me, and everyone that chose to come around me.

FINALLY; as a desperate measure; I considered focusing my thoughts on what was going right in my life for a change, instead of what was going wrong. I was tired of being sick and tired and miserable. I was tired of raging and feeling like I wanted to beat the shit out of someone every, single day. I was tired of the drama in my life, the unneeded stress of it all…the BULLSHIT.

I wanted it to stop, so I advocated for my own life.

Honestly, on a lot of days at the beginning of my journey to self-wellness, it felt much like it did after my son passed, and those first few days afterward. I was hopeless.

It felt like the only thing I had going on for me was breathing, and putting one foot in front of the other. I couldn’t do one more thing other than that, and I didn’t want to. I didn’t even want to do that.

I won’t lie, sometimes I still have days like that. They are much fewer and far between now, but they are still there.

Mental health struggles are real, and often come in ebbs and flows for me.

It is in these times, that I challenge myself to look a little bit further and to be mindful of the fact that I need to change my attitude or it won’t be getting any better for me.

I am patient but firm with myself today because I know that not every day is going to be unicorns and rainbows, and I also know that I am what I focus on.

What are you focusing on? Does it improve the quality of your life? Will it matter at the end of this day, in a week, in a month, in a year?

If the answer is no, then let the focus of it go, because it is wasting your time right now.

These are the tools you can teach yourself to do, and you don’t need a formal anything to learn them. You only need the desire to change and to get real with yourself and your situation now, and how you want it to be for you in the future.

Yes, it takes mindful practice to be positive when you don’t feel it inside; but it gets easier to look up, the more you look up. If the desire is there, you can change anything about your life that you want to. Especially your thought processes.

Choose to think glass half-full, instead of half-empty. You can do it.

When you look for the good in things, you won’t have the time to focus on the bad things and that’s when things will start to change in your life. That’s when hope comes back. That’s when you start thinking about the things you can do to make your life better. You start realizing that it was all in you from the beginning. Every. Single. Part.

Healing is a choice you make to become more peaceful.

It’s not possible to negative Nancy your way into a good life, no matter how hard you try to. I’ve tried that shit forever, don’t waste your life on it.

Expecting others to fix your life and put up with your negative Nancy in the process doesn’t work either, trust me. It’s also not fair to expect someone else to save you or run your life.

That’s not living. That’s existing.

YOU HAVE TO CHANGE YOUR OWN LIFE IF YOU WANT IT TO CHANGE.

This I know.

People ask me all the time, how I stopped drinking and trainwrecking my way through life, and this was the first thing I did.

I CHOSE to look at the positive side of life when I was not feeling positive. It’s because I wanted to feel better and live; not feel worse and die.

Only reason.

It’s impossible to make your life better if you don’t channel yourself away from the negativity in it. Your negative Nancy is a bitch, and she always will be. Get her out of your life. Shut her up by changing what you tell yourself, and what you focus on.

Most of the negativity in my life now comes from my own brain, not my actual life.

I had to do some major work to get to this point that I’m at now. There’s still work to do, and I do it every day now because I know that it’s a better way than the old way I lived. My negative Nancy is a passer-by now, not a resident.

For me, focusing on the positive, and learning to make peace with the fact that I am not a perfect person, motivated me to want to become a better person, and also gave me the love and validation I needed to give myself to move forward.

You still deserve your best life ever, no matter what anyone else says about it, and no matter where you are at in your life.

What do you say about your own life now? What do you want your future life to be like? Do you want to move forward, and stop worrying so much?

You can.

Love yourself.

J. Rounds ©2019 ~Peaces of ME

Sobering Year.

Although I have been writing, I’ve not been blogging here for a bit because I’ve been too busy working and focusing on doing other things that I need to get done.

My holiday was quiet and simple. I made myself a small, festive dinner and talked with my family and friends.

I received a few unexpected gifts as well, and it was really nice to be remembered. All in all, it was a good Holiday for me, and I’m glad I didn’t get called into work and could just enjoy the time off.

I still have packages to send out because I am finishing up some of the things I’ve been making for gifts; but since everyone already knows they will be late; there was no pressure or anxiousness about Christmas this year, that I would usually have if I was behind. My animals were also happy that I stayed home the whole day for once. (Lol)

I’ve just been moving forward, and what a sobering year this has been.

It’s getting easier to not look back in life at the bad times, and when I do it’s usually just to acknowledge and/or think about a lesson I’ve learned from it. I don’t stay there very long anymore. I really do think that this has been key for me and my personal growth.

Today I am in today.

Today I am also one year, nine months, and one day sober.

Today is one day more than I can say that I actually lived.

I shared this on social media today, and I think it’s something to share here as well.

“You cannot wage war on yourself, and expect to win.

When you know you are on the right track, there is no going backward anymore, only forward.

I was my own worst enemy…

Now I am my own best friend.”

It is true, all of it; and I am grateful to be ok in my skin, and to be ok in general, in this world.

I couldn’t say that at the beginning of this year.

There are still stressors in my life, but instead of freaking out or going into a hole over them, I am instead choosing to face the challenges head-on. I’m thinking with my brain rationally and finding solutions to my problems, instead of letting the BS take root. Perhaps this is the greatest gift I received from this year.

I have been in way worse positions in my life, and I’ve surely never been this hopeful at all about the future.

It’s a really good thing to feel hopeful.

This year was a big one for me in many regards; and in 2019, my first major thing will be flying to New York to see my eldest daughter in mid-January. It’s been a long time coming, and I cannot wait to go and see her. My flight is booked, and all that is left to be worked out are the minor details.

More on that to come.

I hope you had a wonderful Holiday, and that 2019 is a year that will bring you peace, understanding, and great happiness.

I hope the New Year will shine it’s good juje on all of us.

Truthfully, I think we could all use some light in this world for a change.

Making little efforts to open our eyes, makes it all the more easier to see it.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~ Peaces of ME

Long Story Long

~Long Story Long~

As told by Jenni, because I was here and lived this life.

Most people say that I am intense.

I’m good with that.

What you should know about changing your life for the better is that it will not be easy.

Because it’s not.

Doable? Totally.

Easy? NO.

You have to want to change. Not just say it. But mean it and then DO it.

If you really think I wouldn’t want to be able to drink “normally” with everyone else at wherever you’d be kidding yourself. It’d be easier to be “normal” in theory, right?

But here’s the thing.

I don’t fit the “normal” by a long shot.

I never have. I know this.

Especially with certain things.

I started drinking hard alcohol when I was 13 years old. It was a crutch that kept me sick for the majority of my life.

That’s why I don’t drink anymore. It’s also why I don’t like synthetic medications.

It kills me, and then I want to kill myself. That’s what it breaks down to for me.

I’ve had too many things lost to it. Things I never thought that I would lose. People….Time…money….jobs….parts of my soul…ALL LOST.

I want to live.

To be honest I’m sure your idea of “normal” and my idea of normal would probably differ on various accounts, and maybe drastically.

I’m good with that too.

Ok…it’s leading into something.

My point is, there will always be (in my life, in everyone’s life), the people that will say, “but she did this and she did that”. They will watch everything you do because they can’t. NOT. watch.

For different reasons, could be totally valid or not, they will judge you.

They will never respect you.

No matter what you do, who you help, how far you go in life.

It is not worth your effort to let these people take up any time in your head AT ALL.

If you want to make a genuine change you cannot think about these people’s opinions.

Especially in recovery.

People that cannot move forward with you, you have to leave behind.

In whatever form that looks like, for you personally.

They will catch up, or not. A lot of not.

You can’t worry about it.

Some people want to see you fail, not succeed.

It makes them feel better about themselves in some way.

You can’t be around people that don’t want to see you move forward in life.

That is toxic to your life.

It took me the better part of a lifetime to stop this cycle, and realize it for real.

To build better cycles, you have to build them yourself.

That means you have to actually build them.

Change is hard.

It gets easier too.

But you can only move forward with people that want to move forward with YOU.

Not everybody in life is going to like you.

It’s O.K.

You don’t like everyone, nor do I. It is the intent of a person that you always have to gauge and remember. Always.

I’m trying to be more kind. A better human. I like myself now. I like that I am me. It never used to be that way for me at all. For as long as I could remember.

I still have things that I struggle with inside. We all do.

Now, I personally think with my brain and then my heart.

I think it’s smart.

It used to be the reverse but I got burned WAY too many times to count. I burned myself mostly.

This is MY story.

Yours is YOURS.

You dig?

Love yourself. Even if it hurts sometimes. It gets easier and it is worth the effort.

It becomes a way of life you can live. You build support of people who are healthy for your life. It becomes easier to walk away from negativity.

You rewire your own thinking really.

Less anxiety about life, more living life instead of hating it.

I’m living this change.

I don’t know. But I do. I don’t have a Doctors degree, I have a life of lessons learned the hard way.

I am trying to be the friend I never had growing up.

For me. For you.

I’m good with that too.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

I am Not Afraid.

I am not afraid of the dark anymore; this is why I can travel through it.

It has made me stronger.

Time.

It heals most things.

But the real healing comes in facing the demons inside.

Ruthless reminders of the past, put upon the shelf of life, where they belong.

You owe it to yourself to live the life that you were given.

Not just give it away to whatever and whoever would take it from you.

Be grateful because it will save your life.

You make your own path in life, no one else. There is hope on the other side of despair. Always. Reach for it.

Be grateful every time you conquer adversity.

Look yourself straight in the eye, and be proud. You deserve to acknowledge that you did not break where you would have before.

There is internal strength and acceptance that comes in that gesture. Grace, healing, courage…so many other things.

Be kind to yourself every day.

In doing that, you can also be kind to others.

You will want to be.

Be the person you needed to be all along.

It spreads to others like a rash.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

Thankfulness.

I don’t know what my life holds for me. To be honest I sometimes still feel like I don’t deserve the good things in it, because I’ve taken life for granted (or did), for so long.

It is still hard for me to see the positive in some situations. It still takes practice to be mindful in times of stress.

I am a work in progress and I know it.

I think we all are, really. I think things happen to teach us about ourselves, what we are capable of, and what we can do to become more whole as individuals; *so at the end of it all, we are at peace when we leave this world.

Remembering a school friend that passed yesterday, and his entire family.

It got me to thinking about thankfulness.

This Thanksgiving I am truly grateful for so many things.

I’m grateful that I chose to end my alcoholic cycle for good.

I’m grateful that I have the desire to work every day, to keep it that way.

I’m grateful that I feel like it’s ok to be me.

I’m grateful that I have my beautiful children in my life, and that they are willing to forgive my past, because they believe in our future.

I’m grateful that I have a loving mother, and sisters who have always loved me, even when I was lost.

I’m grateful for my niece.

I’m grateful that I am still able to learn and grow, and that I’m not stuck in my ways, because many of them were not healthy.

I’m grateful that I have wonderful friends who encourage me to live, and listen to me and encourage me when I feel weak inside.

I’m grateful for my animals.

I’m grateful for my job, and the kind of work I get to do for a living.

I’m grateful that I have the desire to keep moving forward….not back.

I’m grateful that I got a chance to know and care about people that are no longer here on this earth; and for the things they taught me about life, love, and the human spirit.

I’m grateful that I have a place to call home, and that I’m ok with being the only one in it.

So many other things as well.

What are you grateful for? What has your story taught you?

There is a light in all of us and every day we are alive, we have the opportunity to share it with others.

I hope that you are grateful for that fact, because it could all end in a moment. This I do know.

This Thanksgiving I will be working.

It may seem corny, but I will be a light for the animals that could not be with their families this holiday. I will be their family.

To me, that is the second best thing, to being with mine.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.

Love yourself. Always. Xo

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME