Home / 2011 / Thanksgiving: The Perfect Time to be Thankful for Your Problems

Thanksgiving: The Perfect Time to be Thankful for Your Problems

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

By Alissa Butterfass

A few months ago, a Facebook friend posted the following quote (I may be paraphrasing; it’s been a while): If you and your friends could throw all your problems in a pile and could instead pick out anyone else’s problems, you’d always choose your own.

I completely believe that’s true. Everyone is dealing with something. Some people’s problems are more obvious. Others may lie deep beneath the surface. I know women my age who have battled breast cancer. Faced fertility issues. Suffered the death of a parent. Endured divorce. Dealt with a lost job. The list goes on and on. Even those people whose lives seem perfect or who—more annoyingly—tell you their lives are perfect, have issues. I promise.

So, my lot in life is I that I was born with a heart defect. I’ve undergone surgeries. I get out of breath quickly. I’m on daily medication. I can’t look lovingly across the room at my husband, wink, and decide to go for baby No. 3 right then and there (another pregnancy has been deemed too risky)…. Not that I know that I even want baby No. 3!

If you’re reading this post, chances are you or someone you love is dealing with a heart defect, too. The issue may be more or less severe than mine. Regardless, chances are that this heart condition is just one of the many issues you or your loved one deals with day in and day out. In the words of the late, great Gilda Radner, “It's always something. If it's not one thing, it's another.”

The trick in life is to get past the problems. To confront them, deal with them and move on to enjoy what you do have and what you can do—which is a lot! There’s no use sitting at a pity party, even when it seems like you are facing the worst there is and that life isn’t fair.

I distinctly remember being in college and calling my dad after a cardiologist appointment, crying to him “It’s never going to go away. It’s not like a broken arm that heals and you’re done. It’s not fair!” Complain as I might, that wasn’t going to change anything. Better to remember that someone else definitely has it better than me and someone else has it worse, and I was pretty lucky, all things considered.

It’s Thanksgiving this week, and it’s the perfect time to be grateful for what you have. It might be a new job, a supportive spouse, a loving family, a comfortable home, a fantastic circle of friends, a relaxing hobby, a knowledgeable doctor, an exciting vacation, or even just that the good team at Hershey’s created the Kit Kat bar (for which I personally am eternally thankful). But if something does get you down this week, remember to be thankful that of all the problems out there in the world, you were lucky enough to get your own!


Add yours below.


The opinions expressed by ACHA bloggers and those providing comments on the ACHA Blog are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Adult Congenital Heart Association or any employee thereof. ACHA is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the ACHA bloggers.

The contents of this blog are presented for informational purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional advice. Always consult your physicians with your questions and concerns.