Being grateful for closed doors

There were several events that stole much of my attention last year. Suffice it to say, it was not a year of growth for me. In fact, it felt like the opposite – the overwhelming and conflicting feelings of joy from getting engaged, despair from losing a parent, mounting excitement for the wedding, having my cat die unexpectedly, and crippling anxiety were all a bit much to take in in such a short period of time.

I got one thing I wanted – a husband – but lost many other things.

And then, curious of where I was emotionally and what I felt on this day one year ago, I opened my journal and found this:


I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me before – that doors I pounded on relentlessly remained locked to me because maybe I wasn’t meant to have what was on the other side. But I threw my whole weight against those doors anyway, for years, until my sides ached. And walking now with this pathetic limp, I can’t help but wonder, what if they did open? What are the repercussions of getting something I want so badly, for reasons I can only hope are the right ones?

I never thought one day I’d struggle to be grateful for closed doors.

While I’m certainly not thankful that my father never got to walk me down the aisle, that Tommy had liver failure the vet diagnosed too late, and that depression and anxiety have threatened to suck all that remains of my sanity, this passage is definitely something to think about.

What “closed doors” are you grateful for?


11 thoughts on “Being grateful for closed doors

  1. Grateful that a high school/college relationship came to a very abrupt end not of my choosing. I couldn’t have handled his adult life and wouldn’t have found the wonderful guy I did. Even grateful it took so long to have my daughter, because no other child would have been exactly her. The moral of life is that one never knows.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beth , dude*,

    Deep sadness, mixed with deep joy : you married your bashert, but lost a wonderful father. I can only say that you aren’t alone in all of this and I am constantly amazed by your Yasher koach.

    Shalom Aleikhem Beth

    *dude in my lexicon is the highest complement. I don’t use the feminine form because I got told off once, in an ecumenical gathering, for calling a lady priest well a priestess…


      • Beth

        As my sis would say “well cool”…

        I’m going out now as my sisters and sisters in law are prepping food for Passover. “The boys” have been told to “go to the pub”, although this includes my Israeli great uncle yittzy (Isaac) who is in his late 80s….


  3. I’m sorry you had such a trying year. It’s amazing that you emerged the other side in this frame of mind. You say it wasn’t a time of growth, but this to me suggests differently.


  4. My dream job. The one I was focused on for over ten years; I wasn’t even able to apply for it because of restrictions. I think it was the first time I was completely heartbroken. I have now had to take a job for money instead of passion. I know I have made the best decision but its hard to be happy about it, much less grateful for that closed door. I now have to redesign my dreams, focusing on new goals to help with the heartache. I’ll get there.


    • Interestingly, my dad’s dream job was to coach high school track, but that’s not the sort of job to earn a living from. It was only when the complications from cancer forced him to retire that he was able to coach on a volunteer basis, and that ‘job’ fulfilled him more than thirty years as a trade show manager ever did. And cancer allowed that to happen.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wish it hadn’t been cancer, but what a blessing that he was able to do his dream job and get that sense of fulfillment. I have realized that I would never be truly happy as a museum curator. I would love to work with artifacts but the stress and responsibilities would chip away at my joy over the years. I’ll probably be much happier in the long run but its still tough. This change has opened the door for a previously forgotten passion; writing. It makes me happy 🙂 and that is a blessing.


  5. It sounds like a terribly difficult year for you. I can relate – the “closed door” of mental illness for me has become the catalyst through which I have confronted the dysfunctions and toxic situations in my life. It has been awful at times and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but I find myself grateful that 3 years ago my doctor diagnosed me as needing psychological intervention… even if it’s meant hitting the pause button on a lot of my life’s plans and intentions.


    • I’ve battled varying mental illnesses my entire life, so I know exactly what you mean. It’s the reason I now work from home. While I make significantly less money now, it’s better for me psychologically.

      Liked by 2 people

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