What has made you grow personnally? The poll below started my thinking. I have just started keeping a gratitude journal. Let me first say that I am 42 years young, have a wonderful dh, a 17 yo dd and a 4 month old dd. I am truly blessed.
I think that my personal growth really started when about 15 years ago my father was diagnosed with cancer. A year later my mother was also diagnosed with cancer. My mother passed away in '88 and my father in '89. My parents were beautiful people and wonderful parents. I didn't know how I could manage my life without them around.
At the same time I was going through a nasty divorce with my 17 yo's father. She was 4 at the time. My ex was very threatening and downright mean. My sister was a blessing to me, helping me financially by being my childcare provider and emotionally by always being there for me and totally understanding my situation. She and I don't always see eye to eye (we agree to disagree about lots of things!) but she is very nonjudgemental and open minded.
As I sorted through my life I made some goals for myself. I was going to get into shape (I had been an athlete and a dancer but had not done anything like that in quite awhile!) and quit smoking. I was going to get my master's degree. I was never going to continue in an unhealthy relationship again. I was going to be the best parent I could be to my daughter. I was going to be a good friend. I was going to count my blessings every day.
Needless to say, I had some set backs. Failed relationships. Hard times. But I had hope. I did finally find a good, healthy relationship with someone who is as appreciative of life as I am. It took me 10 years after my divorce to meet my wonderful dh. He has helped me grow in many ways. His first wife died of cancer at age 30. We had a common experience that drew us together. I can sum up my husband's outlook on life in one word: joy. He is the most joyful person I know.
When we had been together for awhile, he asked me if I would consider having children. At our age (I was 39 when we met), he wasn't sure that I would want to. And I wasn't so sure I wanted to start all over again with children. My husband had always wanted to be a daddy but his first wife could not have children. It was when they went to the dr. to find out why that they found out she had terminal cancer. I decided that I needed to look past all of the negative things about starting over again as a parent. What could be a more worthy goal to have at this point in my life than to bring a baby into the world that would have 2 loving parents. It has brought me great joy to see my dh as a daddy and to have a baby in the house again.
I know there will be more challenges to face. I will continue my personal growth because of them.