A year and a half ago, my husband told me that he wanted to apply for a job in Texas. I am a New Englander, through and through. TEXAS? My response was, “You can apply, but I’m not moving to Texas.”
This job was perfect for Earl. He is a professional jazz musician and the University of North Texas has one of the best jazz programs in the world. It was down to 3 applicants (Earl being one of them) and Denton started to look really good. No state income taxes? Nice. No state property tax? Sweet. More square footage for our money. No large oil bills. Smaller yards to manage. Neighbors! Stores within reach! And boundless opportunities to use my new favorite word, “ya’ll.” Texas was beginning to look like the place for us.
Our church here as we knew it was falling apart. A church we had been so committed to and excited about. This was MAJOR disappointment #1. Our son has a sensory processing disorder (then undiagnosed) and he wasn’t doing well in school…at all. This was MAJOR disappointment #2. Texas looked great because it was a fresh start. I was going to run half marathons with Earl’s new boss. I was ready to invest in my first pair of cowboy boots. I knew which town we were going to live in and even had an extensive list of houses to look at when we got there. Earl’s interview went really well & he fell in love with the University. Most importantly, Texas license plates kept popping up all across our small Connecticut town. All of the signs were there. We were moving to Texas.
Then, BAM…MAJOR disappointment, #3. They chose someone else. It was like getting dumped when you didn’t see it coming. I know it sounds trivial in the grand scheme of things, but this hit hard. So I did what any other mature woman would do.
I ate cookies. Lots of them. I sat in my pajamas and watched The Golden Girls on syndicated television (Okay, that’s not true. We don’t have cable TV…another injustice!). I cried. I grumbled to my best friends. I kicked my feet and shouted at God, “It’s not fair! You’re so mean!” (no wait, I’m having a flashback to this morning when I asked my son to get dressed). Basically I was having a temper tantrum…and this lasted for about a year (I mentioned I was a work in progress. Sometimes these things take time).
Then I decided enough was enough. I decided to change my mind. I made the choice to be thankful. Thankful for the great friends I have here and the new ones I meet each day, thankful that my husband has a job & medical insurance when so many don’t, thankful for my little house because it’s about all I can clean, thankful that I have food to eat and clothes to wear. Thankful for my parents & my sister who can give us a break every now and again. Thankful for our son’s new school and the teachers who love and support him, thankful for the OT services he receives. Thankful for our new church that supports our entire family. Thankful for my running group who has encouraged me to run farther than I ever thought I could….and the list goes on. If I had MY way and moved to Texas, I might have missed out on some of these blessings. It’s so easy for us to get dragged down by the messiness of life, but we can make a choice to focus on the good in our lives.
So YA’LL…when the tough gets going, get thankful.