It is so easy to look at our everyday lives and gripe and whine about how things go for us. We look at the negative. Bad or painful memories stick with us and remain so much more vivid than happy or peaceful memories do. We lapse into self-pity.
Well, not today.
It seems a shame that it takes a nationally declared holiday to remind us to look at all the good we have to be thankful for. Truly, wouldn’t our lives be so much happier if we made a conscious effort to focus on the good things, however small, every day of the year? Sure, it’s not easy; that’s why I wrote the word “effort.” I believe it would be worth it, and I plan to make that my life-long resolution.
(If you haven’t guessed yet, I am a resident of the United States of America, and I’m referring to Thanksgiving as the “nationally declared holiday.”)
Still, Thanksgiving is as good a time as any to share a list of things to be thankful for.
- I live in a country where I can worship (or not) as I see fit. Personally, I am Christian. I have several friends who are not. Some are Pagan, Wiccan, Agnostic, or Atheist. There may be some who are Jewish or Muslim in the mix, and I think at least one is Hindu, but I’m not sure, since no one has openly declared so. We are all free to follow our personal beliefs without fear of being forced by government into one set of beliefs/practices only.
- I have people I love and who love me in return. This includes blood family and chosen extended family who bear no genetic ties to me.
- I have gainful employment that provides me with a living wage and good benefits. Sure, I get tired and would love to be financially independent enough to not need to work; who wouldn’t? My job affords for me to support my household just on my income, and it allows me to take care of our medical needs, as well. It even gives me a retirement plan, something I’d never looked into previous to this job.
- I am physically able to perform my job. This was something I seriously worried about before I was hired for this job. It is a very physically demanding job; something else I’m thankful for. Had it been more sedentary, my health probably would have deteriorated terribly by now. (I’ve had my current job since February 2010.)
- I have had some of my books published, with more to come. A big thank you to Charlotte Holly and Denise Bartlett of Gypsy Shadow Publishing for that. Charlotte is my publisher, and Denise is my editor. They gave me a chance after nearly four years of trying first to find an agent, then trying to find a publisher that didn’t require an agent.
- My home town hosts at least 4 sci-fi conventions, which allowed me to create a network of friends and contacts in the publishing and fandom worlds that stretch far beyond my locality with minimal financial investment on my part. (I hope to be able to afford to attend some of the larger conventions in the Southeast region some day.)
- I’m thankful for Facebook and other social media. I found my publisher through FB. It also provides me a platform to promote my books and expand my network.
- My cats, even when they irritate the heck out of me.
- The fact I don’t have children. If I’d had children, I would be thankful for them. We never tried to have any, nor did we try to prevent any. It just never happened, and I’m fine with that.
- I’m especially thankful that my husband reminds me to take my diabetes meds. On non-work/non-routine days I easily forget.
- Last but not least, I am thankful that there are people out there who like what I write and want to read more of it.
I’m sure there are more things I could think of to list here, but I’d like to get this posted before midnight.
I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving and hope you accept the challenge to find something every day to be thankful for. 🙂