The First 5 Things I’m Thankful For…

“When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect towards others.” ~ The Dalai Lama

Thanksgiving has been my favorite national holiday for as long as I can remember, and not just because of the turkey, the mashed potatoes or even the pumpkin pie. I love the focus on gratitude because, sometimes, I’m overwhelmed by the sheer number of things (small as well as large) that I have to be thankful for. Here are the first 5 of them:

1. My Family: They love me. There are days when that’s gotta be more of a challenge than others…but they do it anyway ;-). And I love them back. Probably my biggest fear of the future when I was growing up was if I’d ever get to experience that whole wife-and-mother thing. I was confident I had a caring set of parents, a brother I adored and some great extended family members. But would I ever meet a man I’d really love? If I ever became a mom, would I have a good relationship with my kid? Turns out, yes. I was already a hopeless romantic before marriage and motherhood, but getting to spend my life with my husband and son solidified it. Well, you know…MOST of the time!!

2. My Friends – Online & Off: When I first began blogging in 2007, I truly did not realize how close I’d become to so many people I’d met online, but it happened, and that’s been one of my life’s happiest surprises. I love getting together with my local friends in person and, when I can make it to a big conference every once in a while, it’s always a treat to see my fellow authors. But what an amazing, generous and kind community of readers and writers there is out there! (And, yes, I’m talking about all of YOU!!) I was not exactly born to Tweet or do Facebook updates, LOL, but I’ve come to really appreciate the people I’ve met as a result of online social networks…my talented and supportive Magical Musings sisters among them. Thank you all!

3. Good Health: My husband and I each had a health scare this fall and, although we were both fortunate that everything turned out all right this time, there’s no doubt in my mind that I need to say a prayer of thanks for that every single day.

My newest contemporary romance, Holiday Man — a love story that takes place over a year of holidays…

4. The Joy of Creativity: I love, love, love being surrounded by people who delight in storytelling and in the arts, whether they delve into the process themselves or simply enjoy the products that are created! I’m excited by the well-written novels, thought-provoking poems, entertaining films and/or catchy music there is available to all of us. And I’m so impressed with the many creative people I know and the way they draw inspiration from the world and express it through the arts. It’s a pleasure to get to participate in this world of creativity.

5. Nature: We’ve had some cold days in the Midwest this month, but there have been many temperate ones and, so, I’ve had a chance to walk outside a few times. The air is crisp, the sky is blue, and all of you who already know how much I love fall know how excited I get when the leaves change color…sigh. It’s beautiful! A painting right in front of my eyes, and I appreciate it. :razz:

Hope you all have a wonderful day — whether or not you’re jumping into the Black Friday shopping insanity (I’m not! I only shop online this weekend!) and regardless of whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving where you are…

Also, just an FYI: I’m part of a big Fresh Fiction Contest going on now through December 12th! I’m giving away a bunch of prizes, including a digital copy of my new romance, HOLIDAY MAN (you can read the full chapter one excerpt here), and some Godiva chocolates. So, if you’re interested, please enter!!

About Marilyn Brant

Marilyn Brant is a chocolate addict, a music junkie and the USA TODAY bestselling author of ACCORDING TO JANE (2009), FRIDAY MORNINGS AT NINE (2010) and A SUMMER IN EUROPE (2011), all from Kensington Books, as well as a number of light romantic comedies, including THE SWEET TEMPTATIONS COLLECTION (2013) and PRIDE, PREJUDICE AND THE PERFECT MATCH (2013). Her latest novel -- a coming-of-age romantic mystery called THE ROAD TO YOU -- was just released in October 2013!
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10 Responses to The First 5 Things I’m Thankful For…

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    Marilyn, you’ve said so many things that I feel – only you’re much more eloquent that I am. I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving!

  2. Misty Evans says:

    Marilyn, what a great list of gratitude! I’m so glad you and your hubs are heathly and happy. I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.

    I’m shopping in my pjs from home today and the kids and I are decorating the tree. Love the holidays!

    • Misty,
      Thanks so much!! Our Thanksgiving was very nice — it involved a lot of driving, though so, today, I’m being a homebody :). We are not nearly so organized, however, to be ready for Christmas decorations… Wish I could hang out at your festive house for an hour!! xo

  3. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Marilyn!

    Thanks for this message. I woke up feeling at a low ebb with too many problems to deal with. I needed to be reminded (it’s not Thanksgiving here) that I have much to be thankful for!

    Hope you have a great weekend!
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Update on books, just released, in progress, and upcoming

    • Dale,
      Thank you! I wrote this post to remind myself… ;)
      I remember thinking when you Canadians were celebrating Thanksgiving last month that we all should probably have a day *every* month that’s a gratitude day…
      Hope that today has gotten better for you as it’s gone on!
      Marilyn Brant`s last blog was …The Next Big Thing

  4. Amy R says:

    Nice post, Marilyn! I do like that Thanksgiving forces us to look at all the things we should be thankful for. One of the things I will remember most about my mother-in-law is that no matter what she was going through she always looked at each day as a blessing. Even if it was just a blessing to be alive. I loved that about her. I hope I can be that sort of example for my kids.

    I am actually at work today so your blog post is a nice break from my work duties. I am thankful for this awesome blog and for all of you ladies that post here. Hope you have a great rest of your weekend!

    • Amy,
      Thank you so much for taking time to comment in the middle of a busy work day ;). And I really love what you wrote about your mother-in-law…she sounded like an amazing lady with a wonderful sense of perspective!
      Marilyn Brant`s last blog was …The Next Big Thing

  5. Amy Atwell says:

    Marilyn,
    This is a great reminder of the heart of Thanksgiving. It’s not a day to focus on food and football (mind you, I have nothing against food and football!), but a day to reflect. You’ve reminded me that most of the “negatives” in my life are really annoyances and not crises. And for that, I am grateful.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Muses.
    Amy Atwell`s last blog was …Father-Daughter Relationships

    • Amy,
      I know what you mean…I tend to “what if” my way into a state of panic more often than I should. A few problems can turn into something that feels disastrous but, then, when a real crisis does happen, I’m reminded of how minor most of them are. It’s helped me to remember that this weekend ;).
      Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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