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If only all of us could recover from our low points as they do in romance novels! But why is this called Alimony? Anyone? Image by Stewf via Flickr

Note: I’m so excited about being Freshly Pressed I can hardly stand it! I’m still answering all your comments, but keep them coming! Feel free to laize around here and explore.

Let’s say you’ve taken stock of your year and all you can come up with is failure. Sure, you’ve done one or two things right, but somehow, the specter of the things you did wrong (or didn’t do at all) casts a hug shadow over them. You can’t stop yourself from trying to “save the year,” to cram some positive returns into a year of losing ground. Yet the calendar keeps changing and where you are stays the same.

I’ve been there. One of my lowest points was sittingon a green plastic bench in the kitchen of my aunt’s business where I was working for the summer, wondering how I would continue college without the scholarships and loans I’d had the year before. Even lower was  the point in November when I wasn’t in school, still didn’t have a job, and led a life of Harlequin romance novels and insomnia. We won’t even talk about the week I got fired and my apartment complex was sold and my lease terminated, or freezing nights with no heat or hot water that didn’t come from my stove.

But no matter how hard situations get, we have to seek out the blessings in life. People get tired of telling themselves, “I am still alive and I still have my health and strength” when they are cold or hungry or worried about where the next mortgage payment will come from. People don’t think the positives outweight the negatives when they’re brokenhearted. So how do you find the “real” blessings? You have to look at yourself honestly.

While I was frantically looking for a job and an apartment in Oct/Nov of 2008 (deep in the recession), I realized something: I’m qualified to be in this position. I had a degree (just barely–Aug. 08), I had the tenacity to persevere and not give up until I found a job, and I had a faith in God that had grew to levels it even startled me. Here I was jobless and nearly homeless, and I was at peace because I knew it would all work out in my favor. But, what if someone else, someone who wasn’t as strong, was in that position? What if someone else who couldn’t take a year off and work all the hours God sends to get back in school had lost their scholarship?

A phrase I like to say to myself is “I’m uniquely qualified to conquer my trials.” Look what I can take! Look how well I chose the people around me who are still helping and supporting me! See how I inspire others when I tell them I’ve been there and they can battle through. See how sympathetic and empathetic, how tender all this has made me to other people’s situations.

My encouragement to you, in this little series on how to really “save the year,” is to seek the blessings where they may be found. Where is your hard work finally bearing fruit? What did you finally do that you’ve been trying to accomplish forever? What still gives you a reason to smile?

Maybe you don’t know how to start changing the things you want to change, or accomplishing the goals you set forth. I propose that you start by seeing what wonderful things you already have, and telling yourself “I’m uniquely qualified to conquer my trials.”

That’s my two cents. Leave yours.