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Thankful Thursday | when you need to pinch yourself

I was talking to a friend yesterday, saying that sometimes, I cannot believe how good life is right now. I feel like I need to pinch myself.

river under a blue sky.

I was telling another friend (who is also divorcing from a not-good marriage) that a gift we take from that experience is a vast amount of appreciation for what it is like to be free.

We know what it is like to live in a very hard situation for a very long time, so we have an unusual level of gratitude for things some people take for granted.

blossom on tree in spring.

It’s like experiencing a whole new magical world that we barely knew existed. Sometimes I wonder if it is like seeing in color when you have spent years in a monochromatic world.

Kristen smiling.

This week, I am thankful:

for the way blogging made scholarship essays so easy for me

I have written thousands of posts here over the years, so writing a few essays for scholarships was a very, very small challenge.

My tell-a-story-about-my-life skills are well-honed from all these blog posts!

that I got an A on my med-surg exam

I got 46/50 correct, so that’s a 92%. That’s a hard class, and that particular exam material was pretty tough, so, WHEW.

med surg exam grade screenshot.

I heard a rumor that future med-surg exams are slightly less difficult, so that’s encouraging. We’ll see!

I have two more med-surg exams, plus a final…and I just have to keep doing what I’ve been doing.

One week at a time. One module at a time. One test at a time.

In the words of Dory (from Finding Nemo)…just keep swimming, just keep swimming. 🙂

for how supportive you guys all are

I was just thinking about how I can share here when I get a good grade, and you guys are all just so nice about it.

No one tells me I’m bragging and no one feels threatened; you all just share my joy when things go well, and I appreciate that!

Thanks for being on my team. 🙂

for opportunities, and the freedom to take them

I was thinking about things like the winery evening the other night, my trips to the symphony, my hiking adventures, study groups with classmates, and so on.

sunset over a vineyard.

Some years ago, I would not have been able to do all of those things, and I am so, so grateful that I have the freedom to do them now.

for kitty snuggles

Shelley laid down on my lap for a long time the other night while Zoe and I watched a movie.

And of course, Chiquita is forever and ever next to me, wherever I go in the house. 😉

chiquita lying next to Kristen.

Most of the time I am grateful for this, but when she lies down on my keyboard and adds things to my posts, I am less grateful. Ha.

screenshot of a blog post.

for my little house

Going along with the pinching myself thing…some days, I think, “I get to live here? In my own little house? As long as I want to?”


And it feels almost too good to be true.

for a sweet package from reader Dicey

She sent me a whole box of medical-related books, such as medical memoirs. So kind!

stack of books.

Chiquita is appreciative of the box the books came in. 😉

cat in box.

that I can see growth in the rearview mirror

I was at a divorce support group meeting last night, and during the discussion, I shared my philosophy about riding the waves of bad memories rather than resisting, and sitting with the emotions as they come up.

And in doing that, I was reminded of how much progress I have made over the last two years, processing what I’ve been through.

Progress is slow in the moment, but with the benefit of time and hindsight, I really can see how far I have come.

It’s not that I never feel angry anymore, or that I never feel sad, but the waves of emotion come so much less frequently, and often with less intensity.

Kristen's neighborhood from the opposite shore, reflected in the river.

The waters I’m sailing in now are calmer than they used to be, and I am thankful.

What are you thankful for this week?

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Heather Mar

Tuesday 26th of March 2024

TEAM KRISTEN all the way <3 So proud of you, love your scholarship advice from the other day, and just all you have to share with us.

I am dealing with a very recent and very shocking medical situation, and can truly say that this week I have cried buckets of tears of gratitude and just drops for all the other emotions. I feel truly surrounded with support. Thank you all for being my extended community and part of my team too!


Monday 25th of March 2024

This is such a sweet post!!

Today I am especially gratefull for all the amazing work my body does to keep me alive and well, and for my imperfect and yet sweet, loving family.

I have recently been told that I'll need to go through surgery (I wasn't expecting this att all) and since then I've gained a whole new apreciation for this house of mine, aka my body. I spent so many years telling myself I was this and that and this fact gave me a new perspective: my body is my house, it keeps me alive and well, and this is enough reason for me to love it and take care of it and be gratefuul for it.Enough with the aethetic pressure to look a certain way, I will not talk myself down anymore. As for my family we have disagreemnts and struggle in some points as all families do, but these people are by my side come rain or sunshine, going out of their ways to make me feel seen and supported and for sharing life with them I am forever gratefull.


Thursday 21st of March 2024

Congratulations on your grades and how you can see so much growth in your life! Sometimes the best growth comes through the hardest times.

I'm thankful that our new roof was covered by insurance due to hail damage last year and that we submitted the claim just before the time ran out. And that the weather was clear and cool on the day they installed it, 3 days ago. Today it was raining buckets.

After a very busy month and a half at work, thankful that it has slowed down a bit and I had time to breathe this week.

We recently found out my husband needs a kidney transplant and he is currently on the process of getting on the list. Thankful for the friends who have already signed up to be a potential living donor and for the community of friends and family who are supporting us in prayer and encouragement as I share his/our story with them. Found out today that through my sharing, another friend who's husband is going through the same thing was inspired to reach out to their friends and community as well.

Thankful that my husband got an unexpected bonus from work!


Thursday 21st of March 2024

- 3 walks in one day - sunshine - 3 terrific meetings at work - my kids' excitement about the "3 Body Problem" - delicious pesto chicken pasta for dinner


Thursday 21st of March 2024

Identify with all you shared about getting through divorce. As we begin to "finally arrive" at the other shore....find how bright it is!!! Amazing that anything that can initially hurt so very badly and be so terrifying....turns into the best thing that has ever happened to us. Praise God!!! May He continue to watch over and bless you!!! You have truly been a blessing and helped me to well remember my very similar journey of years ago. Will keep you in my prayers as you finish school. I too remember how exciting it was to make such good grades. Who Knew WE Could Do That!!!!! Find strength we never imagined we had!!!!!!!!!!!! Take Care!!!

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