This was written by
a friend of Mia's I thought it was very inspiring :
I don't often write publicly about struggles, but I wanted to take a moment and REALLY put this out there in hopes it helps some of the others in my world who are feeling bleak, hopeless, going through some tough times, and not sure how the holidays are going to pan out.
Almost five years ago, I found myself in a brand new position: single with two kids, no education, no bank account, having to ask my mom to co-sign on a home, and trying to find a job. I moved into a wonderful home where for 9 months, we didn't have hot water or a working stove, we took icy baths and heated up water in the microwave for washrags. I was getting food from a food bank each month and cooking with an electric skillet. Things were tough and it was hard to see an end or know where I was going in life.
That first year, when the holidays rolled around, I had no idea what I was going to do for my boys. I worked as much as I could and saved up a measly $125, I'll never forget it. It was the first year, not the last by any means, that I found myself turning to a church and charity for help. They helped me get food and gave each boy a present to help. I was touched, I felt humbled and grateful that they could receive such kindness from a stranger. The boys got a lot of second hand items and dollar store toys from me that year, but I look fondly on that time. We really made the best in that hard financial year by sitting down and being with one another.
We had to rely on holiday help for a few years. Eventually, my divorce was finalized and things settled down. And last christmas, I no longer had to put my kids name in for gift help any longer.We still struggle, I am still considered "poor", but I will never embrace that idea because I feel more rich in what I know and have seen about love, hope, kindness, generosity, and appreciating the small things. Small things, lol, like the day when the hot water came back on and we no longer had to grit our teeth to bathe. When I could stop cooking only hamburger helper in a microwave and healthier foods came back into our lives. Small things like tucking the boys into beds that were warm under a roof that was mine.
Through all that time, all those moments of struggle, I grew into a stronger and simpler person. I honestly don't need fancy things, I'm just happy to have the basics. And I have worked, and set goals, and motivated myself to be better every day, every month, EVERY year. And it keeps getting better and better.
I believe you have to keep trying. You have to see where you are at, even if it's at the bottom rung, looking up at that ladder you just fell from. You just put one foot in front of the other and climb your way back up. There's a lot of fear along the way, self doubt, guilt, and tears, but in these tough times, it hasn't been me who has lifted my spirits up, but my kids. They will never know how much it was their innocence, their loving spirit, their happiness, and unstoppable determination that drove ME. Being poor isn't a bad thing, but it just isn't relevant.
Stop for one moment, even in your worst moments, and see the wonderful things around you. Don't let life make you sour and grumpy. Don't become a fatalist, because we CAN fix things. There is always a way to climb back up, it's all about your perceptions.
Be grateful for things like hot water and food on your table. Be happy you have a warm place to rest your head, and a computer to type your facebook updates on. :)
Anyway, I have come a long way. I'm not perfect and there are things I still have yet to fix and make better, but I have accomplished nearly every goal I set out to make since 2006 and it's been hard work that I am seeing the wonderful side effects of now.