Thankful for Reminders to Appreciate the Valleys

Day 2,080

Yesterday this photo popped up from exactly 10 years ago. My initial response was a smile and the surprise of seeing how young the boys were on that trip.

We were at Wall Drug on our way out west for one of our first longer trips. This was the second straight day of ice cream, we were all pretty pumped. The entire vacation itself was so much fun, we created many memories together.

In many ways it was a peak when one thinks of life as a series of peaks and valleys. Behind the camera it was quite the opposite, it was one of my biggest professional valleys.

There is no need to get into the details – all that matters is the fact that the impossibly difficult situation unfolded while, and specifically because, I was out of the office on vacation with my family. Through that situation I learned much about myself and my values. In the moment I don’t know that I’ve been as furious in a professional setting, yet it helped to shape who I would become. I had to live through it, work through it, and grow because of it in order to work on closing the gap between who I am and who I should be. The pain was extreme, the valley was deep, but thanks to it I was able to start climbing back up.

It is so easy to remember the peaks, the successes. It is just as important to remember the valleys, the failures. Those are the moments which make the successes possible.

When I look at that picture I still feel the pain of the lessons learned that day. While it still stings I feel more joy and elation because of the peaks the valley lay between.


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