Even though I have gone through a lot of lemons in my life, I am also very blessed. This was going to be my post on Thanksgiving until I had the plumbing issues. I have been doing a lot of reflecting on my current and past life. My mind is constantly going, I’m always thinking of the “what if” and trying to avoid regrets. This post is about people I am grateful/blessed to have in my life. Along with other grateful things such as health and the ability to follow my dreams.
My Friends and Family:
I am grateful for all my friend’s new and old. I am grateful for all my family. I get caught up in my day to day stuff that I do not let them know how much they mean to me.
I am grateful for Amber & Jared Palmer (and their sons, Eli and Silas), Zac & Erica Clark (and their kids – especially my apprentice Brooklynn), Ashlee & Jeffrey Bryant (and their families), Mallory & Josh Cross, Abi and Michael Lanier, Kayla Danielle & Josh Howard and Kate Ambrose (and her family). This group has been supportive beyond belief in the past 6 months and they did not know me well when they first met me. Yet they believed in my vision and me. They support me even when I am not easy to be around, when I’m stressed, moody, or sometimes just being a bitch (yes, I do get that way sometimes). They have helped me succeed in various ways and continue to on a daily basis. I appreciate them, love them and do not tell them enough what their friendships mean to me.
I am very grateful for my best friend of 40+ years, Pam Huffman, who is still back in Pennsylvania, our distance does not stop us from supporting each other as we go through this thing called life. We have both had our share of ups and downs and while we may have had a few years where we didn’t talk as much as we should have and lost touch for various reasons, she has and always will be my best friend. We message each other almost every day at any time of the day too. There have been times when I have been so upset, crying or stressed at midnight, 1:00 at night or at 2:00 in the afternoon and I know she is there to support me. I am grateful for everything she did for me throughout the years emotionally. The childhood years when I needed someone through the 40’s where we are both starting over again.
I am grateful for all my friends, those whom I’ve known since kindergarten, high school, college, prior work places, and met along the paths I’ve taken. My friends have been so supportive of this dream I am on and the lemons I have gone through. Without support of them, I would feel lost and alone. They may not know it and I may not keep in touch like I should but they are all important to me in my life and losing one of them would crush me. I have friends all over this country and I am blessed by each and every one of them. While I may not mention all their names, it does not mean I think any less of them. I could fill up hundreds of pages talking in detail about how each one of my friends has touch my heart throughout my life. Know that I love each and every one of you for all you have done, said, and prayed for to keep me sane. You have no idea how those comments, calls, instant messages, texts or emails (and yes letters) have made me smile throughout the years and feel loved. I have the best group of friends and I do love them all.
I am grateful for my family. We have gone through a lot in my 48 years on this earth, but I love them. I don’t tell them enough and I know they thought my moving to Charlotte, NC (and then eventually York, SC) was to hurt them. But it was something I needed to do for myself. I was/am on a journey of self-discovery and realizing my true calling/bliss in life. When I was in Pennsylvania, I was stuck in a rut so to speak and there was no way out. I was sad/depressed a lot and I didn’t know who I was. I needed to shake up my world and get out of my comfort zone to really discover the true me. I’m still learning. While I’m learning about me does not mean I do not love them. I probably love them more because I have learned about myself.
I love my family and I am grateful for all of them in my life.
To my mother, we have had ups and downs, but the one constant is that we have been able to talk about things. We may go a couple weeks at times before hashing issues out, but I never stopped loving you and I’m glad we have made peace with the past and that I was/am able to talk to you almost every day while following my dream.
To my sister, I love you even though I don’t say it enough and we don’t talk/text often. We are both so busy. I will always be grateful for your help in getting me through my divorce (including moving me out of the house when I left my ex). I miss our weekly sister outings, our Christmas shopping outings, and our occasional Casino outings. You are doing a good job handling things in Pennsylvania while I’m building a business in South Carolina, I know I don’t tell you that enough. I hope you are able to come visit me someday.
To my niece (my sister’s daughter), I have always and will always be proud of you. I am sorry I was not there to help you in some things throughout your life, but I always love you and think you are a fantastic, brilliant, successful, beautiful woman.
To my cousin in Atlanta, your support of everything I do in life is appreciated more than you will ever know. You may be my cousin in the “family tree” aspect but you will always be my brother to me. We grew up as though you were my brother with you and your parents spending most of your time with us. You are definitely very protective of me as only a brother would be, I love you for that and everything else you do for me. I hope someday I can be as successful as you.
To my other cousins, I do love you all. We have gone through time periods where I may have seemed distant or as though I did not care about you, but I always loved you all. To my second cousins, you have all turned out so fantastic. The family may have had times of distance and we may not have gotten to know each other as well as we would have in a tight nit family, but I know you through your parents or personally and I could not be prouder of how you all turned out. We are all proud of the men and woman you have become.
Customers/Community of York/Followers/Supporters:
I may sound like a broken record, but I am so grateful for my customers, the community of York, SC, my followers (Blog, Facebook and Instagram), and overall supporters.
When I started my blog last year, I really didn’t know how I would approach it and in the past year it has evolved. Immediately I had a fan/follower base because my posts were very real, raw and honest. Those followers and supporters were the ones who gave me the courage to follow my dreams.
My customers in the Candy Store are fantastic. I get hugs from customers and their kids. I see smiles every day from them just from walking into the shop. My customers don’t even have to buy anything to come in and feel happy. The support they have given me on not just the store, but my blogs and the lemons that life throws at me is why I am meant to be in York, SC. I may originally be from the north, but I have always had some southern in my soul. When I was a kid, growing up on a farm, I figured someday I’d be living in the south, on a ranch, and married to a cowboy. I’m happy right now to be living in the south, we’ll see if the other two will happen in my future LOL!!
I will continue to write and make candy (especially the caramel) because it’s what makes my customers happy.
Charlotte Dynamic Women:
There is a group of women I met last year that I cannot say enough about. It is a networking group, but it is so much more than that. It is women supporting women. Empowering them to succeed and supporting them in every aspect needed. These women are my inspiration every day. They have done a lot and been through a lot of lemons themselves in their lives. They have all been very supportive of my dreams and goals. All the ladies I have met through this group have kept me going when I hit some of my hardest times. I love these women and hope to get to the monthly meetings again soon.
While I know I’m not eating the best or exercising right now because I am spending all my time at the candy store, I am grateful for my health. I still have some side effects from my chemotherapy and radiation of 11 years ago, but I am so grateful to be alive and here. Moving south really helped curve a few of my side effects that would intensify with the cold weather up north. I’m happy that my health issues I had in January 2016 and January 2017 did not kill me (both times I should have been in a hospital or dead according to doctors) even though I am still trying to recover from both issues. I am happy that I found essential oils to help with my overall wellness, they have been a blessing to me in so many ways, including meeting new friends along the way of learning about oils.
I am grateful that we live in a country where I can pursue my dream. Whether I fail or succeed is in my hands, but the freedom to be able to try is where I am grateful. I have met a lot of challenges (and still do) in building a business, but that is to be expected. I do have stress and worry in this adventure; however, it is nowhere near the stress I had in the corporate world, especially my last position. This is stress I control, when you work for someone else, they control the stress level, especially in how they treat you and those around you.
As long as you believe every day and have faith things will work out, maybe not as you planned, but there is always a higher power looking out for you.
I am grateful for the lemons in my life. Ok, I know that sounds odd and really how could I be grateful for the sewage issue that I am dealing with currently or the bad things that have happened throughout my life. Well, they made me who I am today. Everything that happens to you big or small shapes you into the person you are right now in this moment. Knowing that I did not want to have any regrets. Instead I see Lemons as lessons. Opening my own business was a very risky move, but I always wanted to do it and if I didn’t do it now I would be on my death bed in 40+ years (hopefully not sooner) wishing I would have attempted it. Just like the dating experiences I had in April and May from guys I met online, I do not regret going out with any of them because they were each a lesson I had to learn. I learned a lot in a 20-year marriage, that when I look back I should have gotten out of sooner, but I do not regret it. These are things that have shaped me. I like the person I am becoming as I learn about myself. Don’t look at lemons as a bad thing look at them as a good thing they are teaching you something that will help shape you into a better person.
As you all are aware, life throws lemons at me, but it is through friends, family, health, dreams, love, and faith that I make it through. I am grateful for everything and everyone in my life. I wanted you all to know. If you are reading this, then you are someone I am grateful for and love. With that, you will never be alone and neither will I.
Bless you all and thank you for enriching my life just because you are in it.