Oh 2017, I have to say that I am happy to see you go. Still, I’m grateful for the lessons you left me with, and that’s the point, isn’t it? The gratitude is so much more important than whether or not things went as you imagined they would.

I think so many people have yet to figure that out. I see so many posts tagged #LifeByDesign. I see your beautiful babies, and brand new homes in the attached photos and I couldn’t be happier for you, but I also can’t help but laugh because you don’t get it yet. It’s not your fault, life just hasn’t thrown you yet. Don’t worry, it will. When it does, it will seem all negative at first, and then eventually you will realize that you don’t need to be in control to be grateful for the things in your life, exactly as messy as it is right now, that are beautiful just the way they are. The things you never would have known if your life continued on as “perfectly,” whatever that means.

Pretty much nothing in my life is how I had imagined it would be at 30; From my health, to my work, to the size of my family. This year has served to teach me once and for all that we don’t have control over what happens. You should know that when I’m saying this I’m not complaining; I’m also not saying it’s easy. A lot of days I am a complete ball of anxiety about the many uncertainties in my life right now. I am learning that that’s ok, but that it’s also important to recognize that this life on hold, is still life afterall. I didn’t choose the uncertainty, but I can choose my response to it.

In 2018, I’m choosing gratitude. No my life is NOT by design, but my god there are so many incredible and beautiful things about my life exactly as it is in this moment to be grateful for. I have an incredible husband who has been my rock through this year, and who I know will continue to be that steadying presence in my life. I have an extended family that has shown that they will support me in all of my endeavors, no matter how difficult the undertaking. I have made so many amazing friends this year, friends that are zebras like me, friends I never would have met if I was healthy.

Do I hope that 2018 will bring a little bit of clarity, and a little less uncertainty? Of course, I do! But, in the meantime, there’s so much to be grateful for. My life is beautiful and valid just the way it is right now, and so is yours.

So, my biggest lesson from 2018? That #LivingGratitude is far more important than #LifeByDesign will ever be.