Meditations on Thankfulness

No, you’re not confused. That does read “Tuesday” and not “Thursday”. Yes, today is Tuesday.

See, on Thursday we will be announcing grand prize winners plus individual contest winners for Love Spanks 2013! Since Thursday is my usual thankfulness day, I’m shifting my post two days early. Oh, come on. It’s not good to get set in your ways.

Today I have a heavy heart. I’m quite annoyed that people I love are having a hard time. Illness, accidents, job loss…it’s been a hard week for many people. The more we enlarge our circle of people close to us, the more we hurt when bad things happen to them. It’s worst when the nicest people I know are the ones who have the hardest time. So freaking unfair.

That said, it’s when things are difficult that we need thankfulness most of all. As an adolescent, I didn’t understand. I growled at people who told me to be grateful. Grateful? WTF? I had problems, dang it! And I did (oh shush, peanut gallery) and life was not easy and it is absolutely not true that adults have more difficulties than children. BUT…the older I grow, the more I learn to appreciate the tiny things I normally wouldn’t even notice. One of the most helpful statements in changing my attitude was, “What if I woke up today with only the things that I gave thanks for yesterday?” Not much, right? That got me thinking.

I started Thursday Thankfulness many, many weeks ago when I was struggling with difficulties in my life. For weeks, months even, I gritted my teeth and stomped my feet and said I’M NOT THANKFUL, DARN IT! But I kept at it, and soon enough the discipline of sitting down once a week to pretend to be thankful…turned into sitting down once a week to actually be thankful. Then I came to look forward to this moment each week.

I won’t say everything is easy now because it’s not. Absolutely not. Life is still unfair and crappy things happen. There is great value in accepting suffering for what it is and to give in to sorrow and anger and the emotions that are natural and healthy. Faking happiness doesn’t do anyone good. But…again but…if we allow room for these real emotions, sometimes we also can find ourselves cherishing the small moments.

Maybe we fall apart. Maybe sometimes things get to be too much and we need to melt down. Maybe there is a day that breakables should be kept out of our reach and we better get our darn wine or chocolate or else someone is going to get hurt.

But in the midst of it all…there is thankfulness. Won’t you join me today? I’d like to list some of my thankfulnesses and then hear yours.

  • I’m thankful that it’s only 3.5 weeks until The Way Home comes out! No cover art yet (sigh), but pretty soon Kat and Natalie will have their official debut. Thank you, Lazy Day, for believing in their story.
    .
  • I’m thankful that a special project is taking shape and should be lovely. More details later.
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  • I’m thankful for a wonderful professional opportunity this week. To be perfectly honest it was super-sudden and I’m rather frantic trying to prepare for it, but it is a great chance. It is good to be excited about my work again.
    .
  • I’m thankful for an email from a friend telling me that her little girl has not stopped pestering her parents about when I will visit next. It’s been almost two months since I saw her last, and she is in that adorable three-year-old stage (okay, there are no non-adorable stages for little kids, except potty training) where she is bossy and loving and chattery. She has told my friend that her parents are NOT allowed to be in the house when I visit (normally we tell her that she needs to “share” me, but she reasons that since we haven’t gotten to play for a “leally leally long time” (she can’t say her “r”s) this date should be all about her). I’ve missed her so much. My friend too, of course, but well…even she knows that the little girl comes first. Maybe that’s why she hasn’t written for two months. :D.
    .
  • I’m thankful that another friend just shared with me that she is expecting a baby! She’s not out of the miscarriage-danger period yet, but she is doing well. I can’t wait. I hear that another friend of mine makes adorable pumpkin baby hats, too. The *only* disadvantage is that she lives nearly an hour away. I said that I’ll have the baby and she can have visitation rights every other weekend. For some reason, she wouldn’t agree to that. Some people are so unreasonable. πŸ™‚
    .
  • I’m thankful that Love Spanks was such a rousing success! Thank you to everyone who participated, either as a blogger or a reader. Thankful to everyone who donated prizes so we can have such a great announcement on Thursday.
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  • I’m thankful that a certain naughty friend of mine received a much-needed paddle in the mail. Maybe my naughty friend will become a slightly naughty less friend, at least temporarily. πŸ˜€
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27 thoughts on “Meditations on Thankfulness

  1. Sophie Sansregret says:

    I was just having my own personal Thanksgiving here a few moments ago when I saw your blog. I’m thankful that you and I managed to have a phone call yesterday. It is always such a treat to talk with you.

    Soph.

    Like

  2. newlifeindd says:

    I’m thankful for:
    Blogland friends;
    Being able to talk to blogland friends again.

    Don’t think that paddle will lessen her naughtyness.

    Like

  3. Jade Cary says:

    Wonderful post Ana, and I’m glad your ‘other’ job is giving you joy.

    I am thankful for the ol man, of course. I do not ever say that lightly. He is a gift, one I cherish, and I am truly thankful for him. The gift of love is not promised/So every day I pray you’ll still want this (Contentment by Kindred The Family Soul)

    I am thankful for the babies. They make me laugh. They are my gift for good behavior. They are the pot at the end of the rainbow.

    I am thankful for a new editor, and the challenge she is giving me to rethink, to challenge myself. At first I saw her as an unwelcome intruder, a person who did not ‘get it’. I almost missed the opportunity she was giving me to grow.

    I am thankful for my friends. They are always there, even when they are not. I’m talking not only friends I can see face to face, but those I have never met face to face. Maybe a phone call or an email chat (I don’t IM) is all we have, or do, but I am grateful for it.

    I am thankful for my talent. It is a gift, one I work hard at. I don’t ever take it for granted.

    I am thankful for my health. I could be worse, and it is not. It will get better.

    Namaste.

    Like

    • Ana says:

      What a lovely comment, Jade. I love your quotation, and I hope that your babies are giving you heck to make your life more full.

      I am thankful for your thankfulness, and I am thankful for how you keep pushing, keep caring, and keep striving to make the world a better place.

      Like

  4. Minelle says:

    I am thankful for all of the positive, healing energy, thoughts, and prayers.
    I am truly humbled, by the friends who are there for me without a thought. Those who stayed up late, sent Angels, paddles and stories…..I promise I won’t write my post here, dear.

    Like

  5. Cat says:

    Hey Ana…Thank you for reminding us how much we have to be thankful for. I’m very thankful for our blog land family and for you Ana…you are an awesome friend to so many of us. Ooh and I’m thankful that La Crimson Femme isn’t anywhere near me! πŸ˜‰

    Blessings,
    Cat

    Like

    • Ana says:

      LOL! I am thankful that you didn’t get scared away yesterday. I was impressed that you read and commented. Better not show that post to your friend, though. πŸ˜€

      Blessings right back.

      Like

  6. Roz says:

    Lovely post Ana, I am thankful for you, for reminding us to take the time to think about the things we have to be thankful for.

    I am thankful for blog friends.

    I am thankful that some of our friends struggling right now have had some positive news

    Like

    • Ana says:

      I am thankful for positive news, too. Sometimes it takes a struggle to remember that positive news can still be good even if it’s not exactly what we wanted when we wanted it. I am thankful for friends who are both supportive and honest. It’s a rare gift to find both, isn’t it?

      Like

  7. SassyTwatter says:

    I think this is one if the sweetest things you do. You remind us to be appreciative which all to often is easily forgotten with all the things everyday life throws out us. Thank you for this reminder.

    I also agree there are some days you just can’t collect your emotions or your head to be if any use. You can have your “darn wine or chocolate” I don’t like but please don’t make me share my Swedish fish. If I have to lick them all I will! I do not share candy.

    Nite nite!

    Like

    • Ana says:

      The reminder is for me most of all, really. Thankfulness, I am learning, is a skill that takes practice. I used to think that we either had it or we didn’t, but that’s not true. It’s a muscle that gets stronger with use.

      I don’t like Swedish fish, so it is all yours. πŸ˜€

      However, not sharing candy is naughty. Do I need to send a note to Mrs. Claus?

      Like

  8. SassyTwatter says:

    Well it is a wonderful thing you do each week no matter the reason.

    How can you not like gummy candy that is a sin!!! Next you will say you don’t like peanut butter! I’m definitively not sharing my candy now. This is no surprise to Mrs. Claus common complaint by friends. But I have nothing to fear I heard she is in Aruba soaking up the sun..

    Like

  9. Viola says:

    I’m thankful you taught me to be thankful.
    I’m thanful I have so many wonderful friends.
    I’m thanful for my health and for the health of my family.

    Like

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