As the year comes to an end, a lot of us are taking time to reflect on how far we’ve come, count blessings, and give thanks — family, health, stability, success, and yes, delicious food.
So naturally, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’m thankful for. In my reflective state, I have gained a new kind of perspective, an epiphany, maybe, on the type of thanks I have to give.
The last couple of months I’ve had recurring anxieties because there have been many changes happening in my life.
I got engaged to my wonderful partner in August and it has been wonderful. After you get engaged the next step is to plan a wedding and as you can expect, it’s been a whirlwind. Cue my anxieties. Starting the process of planning, coordinating family members, and scheduling across international borders and time zones has been overwhelming and exhausting. I’ve been anxious and sometimes even scared about all the responsibilities and potential headaches of planning such an important event.
So really I can (and should, and must) complain, but really, also, I can’t complain.
These new stressors are a testament to the expansion of my life. My problems signal that I’m transitioning into a new and fuller life stage with a new larger family, new activities, and celebrations that make me feel rooted, loved, cared for, and surrounded by community. A hearty community. I’m growing and progressing and this growth comes with its own set of challenges. And that’s okay.
So, I am thankful to have the right kind of problems.
There’s a saying that goes “Remember you prayed to be where you are in your life right now”. Every life stage is a step up and progress from a previous stage. Even if you feel you have nothing to be thankful for or you feel stuck or regressed, the fact that you are a year older is progress and growth (literally). Be thankful for that.
So as we go in full swing into the new year, as you take count of your blessings, try a different outlook on the problems you have right now and see how they are indicative of a step up from your previous life stage. Be thankful for the new kinds of problems that come with the progress you’ve made in life. Fighting with your otherwise wonderful partner? You have a wonderful partner. Not sleeping because of the baby? Your family is expanding. Stressed about exams? You’re in school. Stressed with work? Remember when you were stressed about getting this job? Overwhelmed with holiday hosting and gift shopping? Well, this one is easy. Be thankful for the right kind of problems.
What did Biggie say? “Mo Money Mo Problems”. Problems yes, but also more money am I right or am I right?
This article was first published in an issue of the Wandering, Not Lost Newsletter f/k/a The QLC Newsletter.
The Wandering, Not Lost newsletter is for those who feel untethered or discontent, and those who are wondering what path to take in their journey of life. It covers topics like finding your purpose, self-actualization, job dissatisfaction, mental health, relationships, and more. Every two weeks our founder Jiji Ugboma, shares advice, insight, and unique perspectives on the typical and unexpected stressors of an emerging adult’s life.