I was mid-workout at the gym today when I saw something out of the corner of my eye that struck me so deeply I needed to pause and take a moment of gratitude for where I am in life, and the fact that some days I am blessed with, and can appreciate, moments of pure unadulterated joy.

To backtrack for just a moment, I feel like I have to explain a few things here . . . I haven’t been writing much, mostly because I’ve been away.  We just got back from (another!) trip to Disney.  This trip was special though . . . this trip was a real family trip . . . my parents took my family and my brother’s family for a week in the Magic Kingdom.  It was the trip of a lifetime.  I can’t remember the last time our whole family was so happy.  I will forever remember my parents walking around the Magic Kingdom holding hands wearing ear hats.  I will never forget the Husband and my brother pushing strollers wearing ear hats around the Magic Kingdom either!

But I digress.  Five years ago, our little family of four made their first trip to Disney.  Five years ago, on that trip to Disney, I was forced to face the fact that my symptoms were not getting better, they were getting worse, and it was after getting back from that trip that I started in earnest down the path that would lead to my diagnosis, and everything else that followed.

In 2 weeks, I have my annual follow-up MRI and checkup  And after that’s done, my 5 years post-treatment will have passed, and I will officially be declared “cured” by the medical community.

I will admit that going into this trip I was thinking that the timing of it had worked out pretty perfectly … What better way to mark the end of this chapter of my life.

But looking back, this trip didn’t feel like an ending … It felt like a celebration of a new beginning.  A lot has changed in the last five years …. (I know it’s gratuitous, but I had to throw in these before and after photos – the dress my little one is wearing in the first phot was given to her by my amazing friend that she is named after, making this a very special photo for me) ….

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But most of all, I’ve changed.  I know now that things change.  All the time.  And that it’s not always good to hold on to the past or what is . . . because some really good things can come from change.  This has really been reinforced over the last few weeks as I’ve been working gone my #the100dayproject.  The sky is constantly changing, sometimes it gets cloudy, sometimes the clouds give way to clear skies, and sometimes, there is just a sea of blue sky.  Just like life, sometimes bad things happen, but the bad times do end, and give way to happier times.  And sometimes, there are nice stretches of happiness.

I also know now that I know how to take care of myself when things aren’t so good.  I  know how to properly nourish myself and my family.  I know what my, and my families’ sleep needs are.  And I know how to take care of myself and my family on an emotional level.  And so, when something that’s “not so good” happens again (we’re human, it will) I have an amazing set of tools to rely on to get me and the family through the tough times in a much better way that I ever could have before.

In my old role as a banker, I would be taking this time to sit down and plan out the next five years.  To envision where I’d like to be, what I’d like to be doing, and to think of the steps that need to get taken in order to get there.  But what these last 5 years have taught me, since none of it was planned, mapped out or premeditated,  sometimes, it’s just better to go with the flow; to do what feels best for you in your gut/heart/soul, and that as long as you come at things from a place of love, things will be ok.

And as I finish up this post, I am again faced with that deep sense of gratitude.  I am so very grateful for all that has happened since that trip 5 years ago.  And I am so very grateful for the place I find myself in today; a place of pure joy.