My two-year-old and I went out of town for the weekend. It was an eventful trip, to say the least. The high points included catching up with old friends, eggplant Parmesan, a full body massage, synchronized dancing (you had to be there), outlet shopping and a 5K run. The low points: hours of traffic, my car being towed, spotty cell phone service and driving home with a screaming toddler.

Talk about first world problems.

About two hours into the ride home, my son started screaming. The kind of screaming that is accompanied by gagging and hyperventilation.  He was exhausted and being strapped into a car seat was not going to cut it. Silly sing-along songs and ice cream weren’t doing the trick. Even Woody and Buzz, in all their charm, were not enough to settle him. He wanted out. I pulled over, fed and changed him, gave him my best mommy snuggles and strapped him back in. As we approached the acceleration ramp, the crying returned. With only two hours of daylight remaining, I decided to tough it out. How long could he cry anyway?

The answer – 2 hours.

From Wytheville to Charleston he wailed. I gripped the steering wheel and tried my best to remain calm. Tears started to pool in my own eyes and before I knew it, we were both crying. Doing what needs to be done isn’t always easy. I took a deep breath and said a little prayer.

It was then my perspective changed and I began to count my blessings.

•    I have money in my wallet
•    I have a car to drive
•    I have a healthy child (with healthy lungs!)
•    I have a job that I enjoy
•    I have a supportive family
•    I have wonderful friends

The list goes on and on.

I was reminded of the people in my life who are struggling with addiction, coping with the loss of a loved one, dealing with cancer, taking care of special needs children, searching for employment and trying to save their marriage.

Life is full of trials and having the right attitude can help. Counseling is a way for us to gain perspective in tough times and find healthy ways of coping with life’s inevitable storms.

We’re all in this together. If you or someone you know is needing help, please consider reaching out. We’re listening.