If I've learned one thing during my almost 32 years of living, it is that life is not always easy or fair. This has been proven to me through observing the lives of those with whom I am closest and is also evidenced through my own life. However, I have also learned that hardships and trials are usually accompanied with silver linings that make life bearable. I have been very aware of these blessings in my own life lately and I can't help but feel a tremendous amount of gratitude for . . .
. . . a mom who calls me daily from her business trip, just to check in on me
. . . a best friend who gives me a standing invitation into her home and family, shares her four children with me, and makes me fudge balls just because she knows they're my favorite
. . . an old friend who reconnected with me and then invited me to brunch and a day of hiking in the canyons
. . . a good friend who invited me to go walking on a Saturday night (just what I needed) and then convinced me to join her and other friends for a trip to Peru in September
. . . a dad who makes time in his busy day to have lunch with me and goes out of his way to help me any way he can
. . . a former boss and good friend who is willing to make calls on my behalf and who also gives great advice, both personal and professional
. . . an invitation to join my dear friend (who not only sympathizes but empathizes with what I'm going through) for a home-cooked Sunday brunch and a few days later spending the day hiking to Timpanogos Cave with her 14-month-old baby in beautiful American Fork Canyon
. . . a spontaneous road trip to Yellowstone with my brother, who is also one of my very best friends, where we mapped out our dream round-the-world 6-month travel adventure
. . . an understanding new boss who sees enough value in me to bend the rules and allow me to work from home rather than relocating right away
. . . a strong and healthy body that allows me to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, running, and long walks with friends
. . . a sister who is willing to leave her husband and kids for the night to have a sleepover with me just because she knows it will make me feel better
. . . good friends since childhood who make the time for a quick lunch, even with a tired baby, and who give me great advice with more impact than they could possibly know
. . . my oldest and close friend who takes time away from her 3-week-old newborn to talk with me over dinner at the Mandarin
Life isn't fair and it most certainly isn't always easy. But I have a tremendous amount for which to be grateful. My family and friends have always been there for me, and they are the silver linings that make the hard times bearable. I only hope that someday I can repay the favor.