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Thankful Thursday | finding the silver lining

A reader recently send me Jason Mraz’s “Look for the Good” song, and since that’s one of my life themes, I gave it a listen.

Blue sky with quilted clouds.

One of the lyrics says, “If there’s a silver lining, you still have to find it”, and I like that point. Silver linings aren’t always obvious; you often have to do some hunting to find them.

And maybe that’s where we get tripped up sometimes; we think the silver linings will jump right out at us. Nope; it’s totally normal for it to require work.

But the good news I repeatedly stress is: the more you hunt for silver linings, the better you get at it! Your brain gets more proficient at what it repeatedly does, so you might as well train it to get good at silver-lining-hunting. 🙂

And on that note, this week I’m thankful:

that I can stay in school

Despite the fact that I will be doing life on my own in the future, I will still be able to stay in school.

Kristen holding a back to school sign.

Zoe made this sign for me last year on the first day of school. 😉

I have money set aside for nursing school (I started saving for this quite a few years ago), and I will be able to support myself by blogging while I’m in school.

Kristen wearing a backpack, standing in her living room.

First day of school this year, but with no sign 😉

So, I do not have to set aside my dream of becoming an R.N., and I’m so thankful for that.

that my developmental psych class does not look like it will be hard

I’m taking chemistry, microbiology, and developmental psych this semester.

The chemistry and microbiology are not going to be terribly easy, so I am very, very thankful that at least the developmental psych workload seems manageable. 

Prior to this, I’ve only taken science classes, and I gotta say, a non-science class feels so much easier! Whew.

that Zoe likes both of her classes

She’s doing dual enrollment during her last year of high school, so she and I are both at college together. 😉 So far, she likes both of her professors, and I’m so happy about that.

A good professor makes a world of difference.

that Lisey’s return to school is going well

She really likes living here with Zoe and me (ok, the cat is a big draw as well!), so she’s opting to stay here and do the long commute to school every day.

Lisey hugging the cat.

If she gets weary of the drive, she can always move back in with my aunt and uncle, but for now, this is what she wants to do.

So far, it’s going well, and her classmates are so happy to have her back.

for a little break in the heat and humidity

I am so thrilled to feel some crisp air! The heat and humidity will be back in a few days (boo!), but a little respite is awesome.

And regardless, I know there’s only about one more month of humidity to deal with; October usually brings some nice dry air.

that my piano is now tuned

It had fallen out of tune after being moved/adjusting to the air in a different home, but my tuner finally was able to make it out here yesterday.

I’m delighted that it’s back to sounding lovely again.

And I am endlessly grateful to have my piano here with me!

that I was able to rent a home, not an apartment

If I’d rented an apartment, I’d probably have a lot less space, and I don’t even know if I’d have been able to fit my piano.

View of Kristen's living room.

Plus, I’d feel a little bad about playing the piano in an apartment building; I know the sound would carry to neighboring apartments, and that might be annoying for other residents.

And since I have a house, I’ve got outdoor space to work on projects. Painting furniture would be much harder in an apartment.

that the other rentals didn’t work out

When I was walking the other day, I went past a townhouse I’d tried to rent. I didn’t get that one (someone submitted an application an hour before I did!), but looking back now, I am so thankful I didn’t get it.

The townhouse was fine, but my current home has a lot more space inside and outside, and it is way more conducive to having Lisey here with us.

(at the time I was house hunting, I wasn’t sure she was going to move back here!)

When I look back at all the other rentals I tried to get, I can see reasons that each of them was not as good as this one.

So in retrospect, I am very thankful!

What are you thankful for this week?

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Friday 2nd of September 2022

Very sad we need to put dad in a facility, if he would only cooperate, stay in his wheel chair etc. Thankful that my brother went to school with someone who now runs a local assisted facility and we really loved the place so at 100 years and 3 months dad will go to a home. He has in home care but it is not enough. At least he will have 24 hour care there. Thankful I have a boss who is really cool about last minute I need the day off due to above situation.


Thursday 1st of September 2022

I love your perspective. Glad you still get to go to school to be an RN.

I’m composing my thankful list 36 hours before leaving to a new home in a new state. It’s been a hard several years here but I have so many memories and people that I will treasure from my time here:

1. All the nurses, techs, and chaplains that have sat with my son over his many hospitalizations in this city. The veil between life and death, physical and spiritual is very thin in hospitals and those who care for patients in this context see people in such a vulnerable state and have a tremendous influence. By all statistics my son should have died so many times over, and because of God’s hand and many medical professionals he is flourishing today. He’s my miracle boy, and he wouldn’t be here without all those hospital staff.

2. Our babysitter who cared for my children and taught me how to parent better along the way. She agreed to learn new medical skills despite being old enough she could have decided it wasn’t worth the energy. She was the only non-tribe person we entrusted with our kids and gave my husband and I the only breaks we got for about 3 years.

3. Our family’s tribe that became family: stand-in parents for me and grandparents for my kids; three families that shared homes, meals, hand-me-downs, inside jokes, and viruses because of the frequency with which we saw them.

4. The strangers who showered love on my family while our son was going through intense physical and mental health challenges. We’ve received words of encouragement while shopping, cookies at our front door, offers of extra supplies, surprise meals/gift cards, and even hugs (by people who read the moment well-a talent, to be sure). Their words/actions sustained us.

Jody S.

Thursday 1st of September 2022

A little late to the game today, but I'm thankful that-- *2020 Jody bought most of the consumable school books she would need for the next 12 years because I didn't have time to plan ahead for the start of the school year, but I had the stuff I needed anyway. Plus prices have gone up so much! *despite not having my normal amount of planning done, I was able to wing it the first week of our homeschool. *our son seems to be adjusting to his first year of college. *we missed storms with big hail on our trip to take him to college. We felt like storm chasers out there in Iowa-- except we were trying to get away! *my youngest son's lazy eye continues to improve a little at a time. *my face is improving a tiny bit at a time. It's easier to measure progress from week to week instead of day to day. Two Sundays ago at church I could listen to the organ but NOT sing (without my ear being too sensitive). Last Sunday, the ear could handle organ AND singing (even it was a little more quietly than usual).


Thursday 1st of September 2022

I wonder if you would be interested in applying for a PEO grant when you get closer to completing your academic program? You can google PEO International and see the ways in which they support educational opportunities for women. One of their projects is specifically focused on helping women who have had a break in education and now are pursuing degrees or certifications. They are always looking for good candidates to help.


Friday 2nd of September 2022

@Kristen, for a PCE grant you have to have a PEO chapter sponsor you (which means they meet you/interview you and they do some administrative paperwork too). Currently the maximum grant is $3000 - it is given at the end of a program /certification (to help with completion). There are many PEO chapters -I am sure there are some near you. I can help connect you to one. Also, PEO does loans (low interest, not predatory) for women in the second half of their curriculum (meaning they want you to be committed to completing a degree vs just starting a program). Loans are available for grad school too. They must be paid back in 6 years from graduation (unless that has changed since my daughter got one). PEO is a great resource for women who are furthering their education. Your daughter(s) would probably be eligible at some point too.


Friday 2nd of September 2022

Oh, thank you for this info!


Thursday 1st of September 2022

So true about having to do a little work to find those silver linings. They aren't always obvious. I am really thankful today that my application to transfer to another (new) hospital was approved and I will be back on weekends, leaving me 5 days off in a row to figure out this new single life. {I feel as though life has been on pause for the last 13 months.} I'm thankful I have my health which is HUGE, and I am doing all of the things I know to do to keep myself well. I'm thankful for my tiny grocery budget which has taught me discipline and how to be creative with meals. And every day, I am thankful for my cool comfy bed in my quiet home - such a place of solace and respite for me.

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