I am thankful
Digging out from beneath the weekend’s Halloween candy wrappers, it occurs to me that I can no longer deny the holiday season is upon us. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s come in a rush — not unlike a sugar rush. Sometimes it’s hard to remember what it all “means” and what it’s all “about”.
So this month, the Janes are contemplating gratitude and thankfulness.
I try to be conscious of my relatively good fortune. I’m healthy enough, can keep myself fed and a roof over my head (although the back gutter keeps trying to fall off), have an avocation I love (even when it makes me crazy) plus people I love (ditto about the crazy), and live in a place where any fears or disgruntlements I have are mostly self-inflicted. So I have a lot to be thankful for. That doesn’t preclude the occasional lapse into brooding, but we’re all allowed that everyone once in awhile, right?
Day-to-day annoyances often seem to have more staying power than my overall thankfulness. I’m not sure why that is. Probably the same reason that one bad review on a book stings much longer — and requires way more of that Halloween candy—than any number of good reviews. I have four new stories coming out this winter, and each one has had (and no doubt WILL have) its challenges, but I am determined to focus on how grateful I am to have the opportunity to tell them and to share them.
It’s when I start to get caught up in the muck and minutiae that I lose the gratitude. The holidays can seem maudlin and trite, as if the words happy and thankful and joyful and merry might fade with overuse. But they don’t! (Unlike the words nacreous, viridescent, and concupiscence which can only be used once per book — maybe only once per writing career.) I can use them a million times and still have enough to save for spring when the daffodils emerge.
Okay, spring is awhile off, I admit. But there are always good things ahead. Meanwhile, I’ll reflect on the little sweetnesses in my life right now, whether that’s a Milky Way bar shared with the dog (I eat off all the chocolate and she gets the gooey part) or a walk in nature through the slanting light — or snuggling on the couch with a good book! There’s a lot to be thankful for, if I just remind myself to acknowledge it.
What little ways do you find to remind yourself to be in the moment, thankful and happy? Please share in comments.
P.S. Make sure you vote tomorrow! My reminder to look for the good in life is earnest and sincere… and does NOT apply to politics, but you only get to complain if you vote 😉