This week has been one of those weeks in my step-parenting/parenting world.

Everyone knows what I’m talking about (I hope). Those jam-packed weeks where you’re so tired that your entire face hurts and you feel like you’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

….. “just keep swimming, just keep swimming”.

My reserve has been a bit low. My self-care tank not full.
And well, while we’re all being honest here, I may have been a bit on the b*itchy side.
Working on it! Working on it!

I’ve totally been sweating the small stuff, and giving the things I can’t change in life a whole lot more attention than they deserve!

But this morning when I logged onto Facebook, I received one of those “6 years ago today” notifications and was shown a picture of a life changing trip I took 6 years ago this month!

To keep it brief, 6 years ago I took a solo trip to Kenya to do some travelling and spent some time in a grassroots orphanage called Mama Orphan Children’s Home

I describe the trip as “bipolar”, full of highs and lows! It was the most rewarding and difficult thing I have ever done (well until this whole step-parenting/parenting gig)

This trip gave me a whole new perspective on happiness, contentment, suffering, gratitude and what is truly important in life.

Today when I saw those pictures pop up on my newsfeed, to be honest, I felt like a bit of an ass!

All the small petty things I’ve been worrying about this week, in the big picture, are not that big of a deal. Some people  don’t have houses, or food, or education, or the ability to really make substantial change in their life, and I was stressing about … well it doesn’t even matter anymore.

This week amongst all the “blended family chaos” I always talk about, I lost sight of all the amazing things we have going on in our lives. All we have to be grateful for.

When I am chatting with stepmoms, we spend a lot of time looking at our stressors and distinguishing between situations that are in our control and those that are not.

I strongly believe that’s one of the keys to happiness in life. The ability to let go of things that are not in our control, and well, take control of things that are.

So many of the issues and struggles we stress over are those that we actually have the power to control. Whether it is setting boundaries, becoming more organized, scheduling things a little differently, disengaging, just having an overall more positive outlook (the list goes on and on…)

Today these pictures remind me of that. They also remind me that our problems really are “first world problems”. That  doesn’t mean they aren’t real and they aren’t substantial and they don’t cause us a great deal of stress. But most of the time, we have the power to do something about it, and that isn’t true for so many people in the world!

I know this, and I think that you all know this too. But, because this week I forgot to look at this big picture, I figured maybe some of you forgot as well! So I thought I would share.

We have so much to be grateful for in our lives!

So many opportunities. So many resources.

Sometimes all the crap that goes on results in us forgetting how truly lucky we are.