Growth is in the hard things.

Do you ever get paralyzed by too many demands? That tends to be my instinct – to shut down when I’m overwhelmed.

Some people shift into high gear when their obligations demand it, a much healthier and more productive response than mine.

I wish “high gear” was my default, but it’s not. That doesn’t mean I can’t alter my behavior, but it’s more of a fight for me to do it.

This is the time of year where “high gear” is an asset. I’m sitting here in the dark, writing by the light of my laptop and the lights on the Christmas tree. I have so much to do in the next few days…

On top of holiday preparations, I’m trying to stay on top of my writing and blogging. That’s not going so well, but here I am.


Well, not so quick …

I started writing today to let you know about a new discovery of mine, a feature of the commenting section of my blog posts.

First, many thanks to those of you who have commented over the past year. It’s affirming to know that my words have reached you and touched you. I’ve replied to each and every comment. 

But you would have no way of knowing that because my reply is not sent to you automatically.

The option to receive a notice of a reply is hidden within plain site on the blog page. I just discovered it myself—by digging through deeply buried articles on my web host help pages.

Isn’t technology supposed to make things easier? (But I’ll save you from my rant on that topic.)

I was planning to explain to you how to get replies, but as I sit here fiddling with it, I realize it’s SO hidden in plain site on some mobile devices, that I can’t find it. Sigh.

I thought I could cross this off my to-do list, but it’s not to be.

There’s a lesson in here somewhere. I always believe that. When I think about what I can learn from today’s dilemma, I realize it’s the same lesson I learned in having a child with a brain tumor. As I write that story, as my manuscript evolves, I’m reminded:

Growth is in the hard things.

I’m a better person when things go wrong, if I choose to grow from them, than when things go well.

So today I’ll choose to grow. Which means that for now, I’ll put aside my attempts to figure out the commenting. There are other priorities right now.

If you do comment, please know that I will reply, so if you want to go back in a day or two, you’ll see it.

And know that I am thinking of you all this season, hoping you are not paralyzed by demands, hoping you find joy in every day, hoping you’ll find growth in the hard things.


  • Karen DeBonis

    Karen DeBonis writes about motherhood, people-pleasing, and personal growth, the entangled mix told in her memoir "Growth: A Mother, Her Son, and the Brain Tumor They Survived" forthcoming in spring 2023. Subscribe today to receive Chapter 1: A Reckoning.

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No Comments

  1. on December 22, 2017 at 10:31 PM

    I’ll leave a comment just to leave one, Karen. No need to reply until such time as the noise has subsided into the background and the pressure is off. Figure it all out in 2018! That’s what the new year is there for.

    • on December 23, 2017 at 1:38 PM

      Even though you may not see my comment, Jack, I do have a moment of quiet this morning to tell you that I so appreciate your comment and all your support throughout 2017. Here’s to wild success and happiness for both of us and our families in 2018!

  2. on December 23, 2017 at 3:31 AM

    I LOVE this!!! I have always been a true believer that you need to learn and grow from difficult times. TRY to look at the positives in each hard time. You may not always see it at first.

    Love you, Merry Christmas xoxo Chrissie

    • on December 23, 2017 at 1:41 PM

      Chrissie – thank you for your comment and your support! I’m glad this post resonated with you; I think you and I share similar "takes" on life. Merry Christmas to you as well. See you next year for sure!

  3. on December 27, 2017 at 11:22 PM

    Figuring out this "easy" technology is as challenging as learning to drive a stick shift at age 16!

    • on December 28, 2017 at 1:44 AM

      You’re so right RoseMary. I think the only standard car my parents ever owned was a big old Chevy with the stick under the steering wheel when I was 16. But I did learn, and only narrowly missed driving into a telephone pole once!

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