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Gratitude is the Attitude: Using Love to Weather the Storm
by Tanya Barnett
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December 10, 2018

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Gratitude is the Attitude: Using Love to Weather the Storm

With 2019 on the near horizon, I was asked what am I grateful for. So many obvious things run through my mind. After all, who wouldn’t be thankful for good health, peace of mind, their family, and a roof over their head? I am grateful for all of these and more.

One of the things I am truly thankful for is the fortitude to bounce back from life’s disappointments and setbacks.

Writer Tanya Barnett
Writer Tanya Barnett

There was a point in my life when I just could not do this. I allowed my circumstances to take me out mentally and physically.

2018 has been one of those years. My family has seen some beautiful highs, but we’ve seen some crushing lows too.

Most people would say, “But Tanya, we saw you and your husband on Black Love on “THE” Oprah Winfrey Network. You guys are lucky. You have everything to be grateful for and more.” I dare not diminish the awesomeness of these experiences, the relationships that have been created, and the amazing favor we have found amongst some pretty amazing people. To have couples come to us to say how we’ve touched their lives through our stories and how they are choosing to work on their marriage is humbling. For this I am grateful.

Also this year, our oldest daughter, who is in the military, surprised and blessed us with our first grandchild. I had to drop everything and jump on a flight to go take care of him so she could go back to work. After arriving in Texas to watch baby Weylan Malcolm for a week, my daughter’s childcare fell through, so 3-month-old Weylan Malcolm and I boarded a plane. Don and I kept him at our house for roughly two and half months. Those midnight feedings and diaper changes were no joke. We were like zombies. Yet…

I am forever grateful we were able to support our daughter while she served our country.

Tanya Barnett and family
Tanya Barnett, her husband and their grandson

I have to be honest with you though. I have been extremely overwhelmed these last few weeks. When I found out my amazingly supportive husband was no longer employed, I wanted to run away. We have a child in her freshman year of college who needs tuition money next month. I was scared and didn’t know what to think or do. However, I did choose to visit my therapist several times who assisted me in creating a perspective shift. I am truly grateful for her and the care she gives to me and my husband.

As you can probably gather, none of this was planned when I purchased my 2018 planner nor did I happily glue any of the above-mentioned things on my vision board. How could I know we would experience these changes? I am grateful that I understand that as life happens around us, to us, and through us, we can pivot and adjust. It’s not the end of the world but the beginning of change.

My husband and I are truly grateful for the ups and downs and the highs and the lows we experienced this year. This is life, this is marriage. Does it get nerve-wracking at times? Absolutely! But…

We’ve learned to love, to make love, and to laugh our way through it.

Nineteen years in, we have each other, the love of my parents, our three kids, and even baby Weylan Malcolm to ground us. This is the definition of Black Love. This is what I am most grateful for.

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