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Grateful is sometimes harder than it should be. More times than I care to admit, I get caught up in my own issues, and forget to pick my head up, open my eyes and look around. It takes exercises like #30DaysofThanks to make me recognize just how very lucky I am, in so many ways.

Today, I was reminded that support and comfort are as close as this ridiculous phone that’s never far from my hand. All I have to do to be pulled back from the crumbling edge of panic is to dial the phone, send an email or text someone. I just have to be brave enough to reach out.

Over the past couple of years, this blog has seen a tremendous change in me. I am notoriously guarded when it comes to my emotions. There are those on the surface that play out for all to see, and then there are those that I keep back in the dark, away from prying eyes. In many ways, my whole family is that way. Smile for the cameras & don’t air your dirty laundry in public. Move along, nothing to see here.

Today, I got some unwelcome news…all preliminary of course; but, such that my immediate reaction, once I got to my car, was to cry. I have a vivid imagination, fueled by the experiences of people I love suffering through awful times.

It’s funny how you temper your reactions, based on your audience, too.

The first call, the one where your voice spirals toward hysteria, is to your husband. He responds exactly the way that you expect and exactly as you hope. It’s one of the reasons that you married him…he’s calm and cheerful and positive.

The next call is to your mother. When I was in the sixth grade, I jumped out of a swing and broke my arm during recess. I held it together right up until the moment my mom walked into the nurse’s office. Then, I lost it. Today, I stayed calm, putting on my brave-but-annoyed voice. We talked for a while, both of us knowing that we would deal with this like anything else life throws at us…pull up our big-girl panties and get on with it. What choice do we have?

There were emails to friends, dear friends that I haven’t met yet. Encouragement, suggestions for things I hadn’t thought of, and offers to be my “safe place” for venting.

There were texts to the one person in my life who has been in this place, and knows exactly what’s in my head tonight.

There was a call to my cousin living far, far away…the person that lives much too far away for my satisfaction…the person who makes me laugh harder than anyone else in the world.

There were emails from my partner, making sure I am okay.

Tonight, life goes on as normal. Isabel is working, pizza has been delivered and the boys are watching the History Channel or playing video games.

Tomorrow, the gym, then lunch with good friends and Skyfall.

Until further notice, normal is just how I am grateful to keep it.

I’m participating in #30daysofThanks, inspired by my friend, Amanda, over at www.memydogsmylife.com. We are finding one thing each day in November to be grateful for. Join in! Just use the tag #30daysofThanks and blog or Tweet your daily item.