As we get back into the school season, it is easy to find ourselves falling into an aimless daily routine. Everything we are involved in may begin to pile up and it can seem that the only thing our life is made up of is homework, practice, studying, work, and not getting enough sleep. We can promote a grateful lifestyle by keeping a hopeful attitude that sees our challenges as opportunities rather than burdens to ignore.

A recent challenge I faced came at the end of my senior year. During one of the first games of the soccer season, I tore my ACL. I was devastated and angry. I couldn’t believe this happened to me. Needless to say, this was not apart of my plan and it has significantly changed my life in the last 7 months.

My mindset had to change to learn how to rely on others in order to allow myself heal.
I had surgery on my knee in June, right at the beginning of summer. As difficult as this process was, I became aware of all the people who cared about me and were there to support me. My little brother would bring me food and medicine right and play MarioCart with me after surgery because I couldn’t do much else. My fellow A-team members (especially Lauren Raich) drove me around on the golf cart during the week of leadership camp. And my friends at home adapted their plans by doing activities that I could still do with them – like hammocking and watching movies. I am above all grateful for my parents who drove me everywhere for the 6 weeks I was on crutches.

As someone who is very active and independent, it was difficult for me to be restricted to having little mobility or freedom. This forced me to look for the small things I was still capable of doing such as reading and spending a lot more time with my family. I know that I could not have made it through this recovery process without the support from my friends and family. Keeping a positive mindset made the recovery process much more feasible and less painful for me.

From this challenge I have learned that gratefulness is being conscious of the small acts of good that occur in your life, despite your everyday challenges.