“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.
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.
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!!