Don’t Take It For Granted

posted by Andrea | 05/11/2018

As the little girl who ALWAYS dreamed of, and looked forward to, the day I would move into my own home, I certainly underestimated how much work it would be to care for a home and yard — not to mention the amount of effort required to care for the family who now lives in the home and plays in the yard!

Some days, it feels downright impossible to fit everything in (and that’s coming from me… the person who tries to simplify and streamline everything).

Honestly though, I hope it’s rare that you ever hear me complain about caring for my home or family — maybe joking, but not truly complaining — because 99% of the time, I feel very thankful and grateful to be able to do the things I love most for the people I love most.

It’s easy to complain about how difficult it all is — and truly, managing a home, caring for a family, and navigating my own life can all feel very challenging. But boy do I hope I get to do it all for a long, long time!

 

I recently “talked” online with 2 blogging friends who were each diagnosed with breast cancer over the past 6 months. One friend is my age and has 4 children the same exact same ages as mine; the other has 6 children who are a bit older.

Both women are fighting the best they know how, but they are also both realistic about what COULD happen and the fact that the days at home with their precious families COULD be numbered.

Both women will tell you over and over and over again, DON’T TAKE IT FOR GRANTED! 

Even little things like making their children’s beds and putting their PJ’s away are exhausting for these women right now.

How lucky I am to have 4 sets of tiny PJ’s to put away, 4 little beds to make, and the energy to do it all every day. 

I’ve thought so much about these 2 women over the past few months… especially with Mother’s Day coming up this weekend. Truly, this could be ME!

As someone who has always been relatively healthy, it is SO easy to take these little things for granted.

It’s difficult to keep that positive perspective all the time — especially if you’re up all night with a sick child or newborn baby, if you’re dealing with unending piles of laundry and endless requests for food all day long, if you’ve lost your job or are struggling financially, if your spouse or child is hurting, or if you’re simply in a low spot of life… for whatever reason.

It’s easy for me to complain about how much I “have to do” or how little time I have for myself… but then I think of my online friends, in the exact same stage of life as me. They are using my tips to organize their important paperwork, not because they are looking for a good organizing project, but because they really need to get everything organized in case their conditions deteriorate and their family and friends need to take over.

I’m not an overly emotional person, but with Mother’s Day coming up this weekend, I just can’t help but think how fortunate I am to be able to do all the little, every-day, mundane (often tiring) tasks we parents do without really thinking about it.

Who knows… there may be a time when I’m physically unable to care for my favorite people, and I know the day will eventually come when my favorite people are so big they won’t need or want me to care for them anymore.

So today, and all weekend long, my goal is simply not to take any of “it” for granted. 

After all, we never know when “it” could all be gone.

Happy Mother’s Day Weekend!

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20 comments

  1. Sue from NJ

    05/13/2018

    Carpe Diem…. is my mantra.

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  2. Maria

    05/12/2018

    Happy Mother’s Day, Andrea and thank you for this very moving and heartfelt post! We all need a reminder now and then to appreciate life more even with its ups and downs. Life truly is a precious gift that should be treasured especially as you get older and realize how truly blessed you are with family, friends, health and home.

    So sorry about your friends’ illness – praying for their speedy recovery.

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  3. Chris from Normal

    05/12/2018

    Andrea you are so right & so are your friends. After being severely ill for 3 years I’m now recovering from a heart transplant (12-18-2017) and I take every day as a gift. Below is my latest post from my FB page Chris’ Heart Failure to Transplant Journey.

    Every day has it’s challenges. It’s called life. But how you face those challenges and work thru them is the difference between a positive productive life or one of sadness, lingering in the pool of negativity.

    I chose the positive because no matter what issues I’m having on any given day, it’s by far more enjoyable to appreciate the day instead of focusing on the little inconveniences.So what if I shake all the time. So what if I try to sing only to sound like a “little old lady”!
    So what if my muscles are week from being incapacitated for so long. So what if I’m having trouble loosing weight.

    I’M HERE AND I’M HEALTHY!!
    I want you to focus on the positive because some things are out of your control and just need to be accepted.

    Until next time
    LIVE LOVE LAUGH❤️❤️❤️

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  4. Jenny

    05/11/2018

    I needed this reminder today. It is a very meaningful one for me as my DH and I face various health issues and it is cold and rainy again here in Illinois. Happy Day to all the mothers out there

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  5. Luba @ Healthy with Luba

    05/11/2018

    Andrea,

    Thank you for this post. I’ve been under the weather for the last couple of days and yet was grateful that I could wake up to make lunch and breakfast for my husband. There are wives out there who would give anything to be able to do that.

    Thank you for the encouragement to view our circumstances from a different perspective.

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  6. Barb

    05/11/2018

    Andrea,

    Thank you for such timely encouragement and wisdom!

    Praying for your friends healing and that all mothers would embrace the blessing and gift of motherhood.

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  7. Jennifer Peterson

    05/11/2018

    First, I am so sorry to hear about your blogging friends – will definitely keep them in my thoughts. My “don’t take it for granted moment” came when my son was born 6 1/2 years ago after many years of trying to become a mom. I am thankful for him and my husband every single day – “thank you for giving me Jeff and B” is what I say every night before I go to bed. A friend just asked me what I am hoping my boys do for me for Mother’s Day and I truly mean it when I say that the fact that I get Mother’s Day is enough for me. Happy Mother’s Day to you and the other moms – and want to be moms – out there.

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  8. Linda

    05/11/2018

    So true! Just last week a neighbor man of 50 passed away very suddenly. Thankfully he knew the Lord and is with Him today.

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  9. Tracey

    05/11/2018

    I love all of your posts, but this one may be the best ever.

    We all need a heads up from time to time that what we doing we are lucky to be doing, no matter how mundane.

    Thank you for all the practical advice and inspiration over the years. Happy Mother’s Day, Andrea!!

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  10. Kim

    05/11/2018

    Well said, dear friend! We all need this reminder for sure and for certain.

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  11. Trina

    05/11/2018

    Andrea – you have always come across on your blog as grateful for the life you “get” to live, but sometimes life offers us perspective through our friends and extended family. Very timely post. Thanks for making me pause to ponder my blessings. Keeping your friends in my thoughts and prayers.

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  12. Summer

    05/11/2018

    You are so right! How often we should change our words from “have to do” to “get to do.” Thanks for a great reminder and prayers for all those fighting breast cancer today.

    Is this Marge’s donuts?! Next time you are out by Knapp’s Corner’s, or send Dave, as I think he teaches off the Beltline, you have to try the Donut Conspiracy. It is the most amazing donuts ever! Seriously, I have never had one like that and they have like 40-50 different flavors, all crazy! It tucked behind a Wendy’s right before Meijer’s coming from the Meijer Gardens.

    Happy Mother’s Day to one awesome MOM!

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    Andrea Reply:

    no, Sprinkle’s donuts — I’ve honestly never had a better donut in my life (and I’ve eatten many donuts). Now I’m intrigued though, I might have to drive all the way out to Knapps Corner for a donut at your special place!

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    Summer Reply:

    It’s totally worth the trip! Look at Yelp reviews and there is tons of photos! I brought some to my Mom for Mother’s Day, made the trip from Cascade to Knapp’s Corner’s to Grandville and she was THRILLED! They are crazy good!

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  13. Avia

    05/11/2018

    Thank you for this post. It’s a perspective I needed to help me not take my blessings for granted.

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  14. Ruth

    05/11/2018

    I am so sorry to hear about your two friends. That must be devastating to endure. I was about 30 years old when the first mom (who was my peer that I personally knew) passed away from cancer leaving behind 4 small children. It made me realize that I cannot take my own health for granted and I started taking better care of myself.

    I will be praying for them.

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  15. Lynn

    05/11/2018

    Beautiful post Andrea! You said this beautifully! My best friend and I were just talking about how we cannot take our health, blessings or our time for granted. We are such planners that we find ourselves spending our present time constantly planning. There is a balance in all of that.

    Almost every day or evening I thank our Lord God for my home, family, friends and job! It is a blessing.

    My best friend just lost her mother to dementia a few weeks ago, so this will be an especially hard holiday for her. My mother passed 42 years ago when I was 10. It is always a hard holiday, but, I am also very grateful for the blessings that I have that God has provided me!

    Happy Mother’s Day Andrea, you are such a great inspiration!

    Lynn

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  16. Eileen

    05/11/2018

    Lovely Andrea!

    Last night I had my monthly bookclub meeting. There were 11 of us there and 2 had “ports” in for their chemo treatment. Another is a breast cancer survivor. Another cancer survivor was out of town. It’s very much on my mind too.

    We’re mostly women that are 40+ in this group, but we do have a younger member who announced an unexpected pregnancy last month, so her growing bump brought much happiness to our group last night. 🙂

    Thanks again for posting!

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  17. Linda T

    05/11/2018

    A timely reminder! Prayers for blessings for you and your two friends this Mother’s Day! God bless the work we all do in our homes!

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  18. Roxie Bush

    05/11/2018

    What a beautiful and heartfelt post. We do take so many things for granted. Praying for complete recovery for your friends. Happy Mother’s Day, Andrea!

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