“5 Things I am Grateful for Today”.
This blog will feel like a recap of all the writing I have done to this point because I feel that I sprinkle my gratitude into everything I write. There will be a few new things that may show up on this list, but anyone who has followed along for any of my blogs could probably guess my top 3 at the very least.
1. I am grateful for my wife Kyla. When Kyla and I first started “dating”, we were in the third grade, maybe more seriously in the fourth grade though haha. What even is dating when that young? I remember a lot of notes passed back and forth, and that was the extent of it because we didn’t have social media or cell phones. My parents must have known there was something special about this little girl when I wanted my Dad to chaperone our school trip to Camp Wilson so that he could meet her. Through the years we grew apart as we were put in classes with opposite lunch schedules until we finally went to a dance together in 8th grade and dated some in high school, but never “officially”. Our paths crossed a couple times after graduation, but it still took a couple years until we finally ended up together. It is funny how life works, how people move in and out of each other’s lives, but you cannot force God’s Will, and I’m glad we found our way back to each other because I have never been happier in my life than I am now. We have the perfect life with our two dogs Twiggy & Basil, our son Zander, and a whole lifetime of possibilities ahead of us.
2. It was tough to decide between number 1 and 2, but without the wild journey with 1, we wouldn’t have had my 2nd thing I am grateful for – my son Zander. There was always a part of me that knew I wanted to have kids – and yet another part of my brain questioned whether I could do it or handle the stress of it all. Two and half months after our wedding, Kyla was feeling funny and it turned out she was pregnant. I have never had such a weird feeling of joy & anxiety in my life. It wasn’t until we saw the ultrasound of him moving his arms around, and heard his heartbeat that I felt this was real. In that moment I choked back tears of joy and amazement, and it really sunk in that we would be parents; we were going to have a baby. The ensuing months of pregnancy were interesting and fun, but I wanted Zander to come so his Mama was not so miserable. The day that she went into labor, I felt a primal fear I can’t explain, but once he was safely out into the world, it was a relief to know that my baby and my wife were both safe. Hundreds of giggles and milestones later, I can say that I am a happy & proud Dad. Being a Dad can be stressful, but the joy of raising a child far outweigh any stress or negative feelings one could have. I am grateful when he cries because it means his lungs are healthy. I am grateful when he poops because it means things are normal. I am grateful for his life, and the joy he has brought into mine.
3. I am grateful for family. We are so blessed to have such loving & thoughtful parents who have loaded us up with clothes, toys, and baby accessories – and for the love they give to their first grandchild. The meaning of family takes on a different shape and type once you have a child on your own. It feels like you have been initiated into a club, but you also feel a deep appreciation for all that they went through to give you the best life possible. I don’t know how my parents did it, but they sacrificed and gave me the best life. Our grandparents also have a deep love for their great-grandchild and I love seeing the Happiness it brings everyone. Even my brother Adam and his wife Chelsea (who say they don’t want kids) are obsessed with Zander and I am grateful that he will have such a great aunt & uncle that he can learn from – and workout with.
4. I am grateful for my job. I currently work as a Business Development Rep at Ferguson Construction Company, and while I wasn’t sure if I would thrive at this job, I love it and the company. A strange turn of events – call it a mixture of luck & fate, and a dictate from God landed me at Ferguson. It was time for a change, time to remove myself from a position of comfort and to move onto new & exciting challenges that I didn’t necessarily think I wanted at the time. The truth of it all is that Ferguson is a company I have wanted to work at since I was little and my Nana (great-grandma) would take us on walks past the building. They had (and still have) a piece of modern art that looks like a giant concrete donut out front, and it always intrigued me. What went on in the building with the donut, red roof, and reflective glass facade? Growing up in Sidney, Ferguson was a staple to the town – it seemed that they built everything and you constantly saw the name. Of course, seeing the heavy machinery at work on the sites is also an alluring sight for a little boy – and even for me now as a grown man. It seemed that signs of Ferguson followed me, and I always felt pulled to it. When driving with friends in Columbus in college, I remember seeing a giant Ferguson banner off the highway and telling my friends that was a Sidney company. The position I now hold was one of the first jobs I applied for out of college, but as with Kyla, our paths would cross again and so now the journey begins – and we build from here.
5. I am grateful for many things, but I think that it all ties back to God. I am grateful for God to have blessed me with such a wonderful and perfect life. It has taken years of struggle, but I finally feel that I am in the right place; where I am meant to be both physically & mentally. I thank God because in a way, our relationship with God is a relationship to ourselves, and I feel mine is finally healthy because I have submitted my troubles to Him and I know that everything will work out as it is meant to be. I thank God for Kyla and I thank Kyla for pulling me closer to God. All my life I have felt blessed, some might call it lucky, but I realized that it is the love of God and now that I can acknowledge that instead of trying to justify it as ‘the universe’ or ‘synchronicity’ or something else, I know who is looking out for us.
I am grateful for everything in my life: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – it all has an ultimate purpose if we can reorient our understanding and not get blindly caught up in our pasts or our current struggles. Life will always have struggles to overcome, that is kind of the point. How would anyone become great by living in comfort? Be grateful for your struggle because it gives you an obstacle to overcome & conquer and become the champion you were meant to be.