Growing up, my dad would end every year, usually on New Year's Eve, toasting to the next year being a "better year". If often was not. It sometimes was worse. Yet, it's the happy memories I remember most. Yes, I can bring to mind the bad things, the hard times, the awful moments. But my dad and mom taught me to cherish what was good, more than focusing on what was awful. And, it was that perspective that allows me to see my years of suffering with MS as a gift... a gift that gave me hours one-on-one with my dad that I would not have had otherwise, a gift that gave me a year at home with my daughter before she went to kindergarten, and the discovery of a passion for writing that fuels me decades later. The awful things? I remember them too, but they are far less important.
Framing my perspective my way allows me joy in the journey and happiness in spite of pain. It's not denying the awful. It's seeing the gift in it.