Counting Blessings on Thanksgiving

Well, it’s that time again. Thanksgiving continues to be my very favorite American holiday, a time when we can put aside our differences and count our blessings.

Thanksgiving is a time to recount our blessings

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!

Over this past year, my husband and I have frequently discussed how 2016 has been full of life experience. You know when one says that, much of that experience was simply not wanted or welcomed, but it forced us to deal with it anyway. So we feel like we’ve grown up a lot this year.

And despite having had a challenging year, God is great and I have so very much to be thankful for. Here is but a small sampling, in no particular order:

  1. My family: we’ve had a rough year and more of health drama, but right now, even though we are not all sharing the holidays together, everyone is with loved ones. We are all in stable health, and I am very grateful for that. Also, for my awesome husband, who makes every event in our lives, whether adventure or tragedy, easier to bear because we do it together. For my amazing, precocious daughter, whose imaginative mouse stories inspire my own creativity and who reminds me so much of myself and how blessed I am to experience childhood through her eyes. For my precious little man, whose wet kisses and baby fangs (seriously, just got his second tooth two weekends ago, in the same position as his first tooth) and comedic wordlessness let me enjoy the baby phase a little bit longer since it’s for the last time.
  2. My friends: I may not reach out as often as I think of you, but I would not have made it through the year without your support. You bring joy and fresh perspective to my life, and I’m a better human being for it.
  3. My job: sometimes it’s easy to let the small frustrations of work trouble us. But this job, and my husband’s, present us with so many options and more than adequately satisfy our family’s needs and wants. The people I work with are truly compassionate and caring, which makes going to work every day pleasant, and the mentally satisfying work I do so worthwhile. So far from not fearing where our next meal is coming from or how to pay for upcoming bills, our continued employment also gives us peace of mind and makes dealing with other grownup challenges (see #1) so much easier.
  4. My creative outlets: beyond writing, though that of course tops the list. I’ve learned to draw well enough that you’ll not hear me say “I can’t draw” again. I get to craft (a post about Munchkin’s latest fairy wings and costume is coming soon) and learn Spanish (DuoLingo for the win) to keep those synapses firing. I’ve learned more about blogging and developed a monthly newsletter. I’ve reached out to beta readers for one contest entry and for the first in a trilogy of novellas (Sea Deception). I anticipate doing a fair bit of publishing in 2017 because of the progress made in 2016.
  5. Time together: This Thanksgiving, I’m so looking forward to carrying on the traditions of my own childhood, watching the parade with my children, cooking up a non-traditional Thanksgiving meal (which is a family tradition of itself), and decorating for the holidays. We might even brave the crowds over the weekend.
  6. Health: Not to continue to harp on this one, but it’s a biggie. Both physically and emotionally, I’m in a much better place this year than last year. Time heals, but so does a combination of Zumba, Pilates, and yoga. Let’s not forget that I’m also thankful, if a little irreverent, that my winter clothes, which didn’t fit properly last year at 4 months postpartum, finally do fit now. I’ve still got room to go on my health goals, but I’m grateful for the progress I’ve made and for the strong, flexible, beautiful temple God gave me to house my soul.

Thanksgiving falls about a week before my birthday, and it’s no small thing to live another full year and celebrate the many blessings of a life well-lived.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my wonderful readers! I’m very grateful for your support.

Previous Thanksgiving Posts:

2013, 2014, 2015

Battling the Daily NaNo Word Count

So I wrote this post last year, during NaNo, in hopes of inspiring myself and others that it really can be done. I’m posting it this year if any NaNo-ers need a little support.

I’ve gotten to Day 10 of NaNoWriMo, and so far I’ve made my word count every day. But right now, my small lead has leached away to tiredness. I’m sitting at my computer with my eyes blinking shut, and all I can think about is how much I just want to go to sleep. I’ve done the majority of my writing every night before hopping into bed, though most weekdays I build a small lead during my lunch break so I don’t have a full complement of words to write at night.

Shield-Nano-Side-Blue-Brown-RGB-HiRes

Of course, I didn’t do that today. I’ve slowed down, and now I’m just sleepy. It doesn’t look like I’ll make my words today, and I fear greatly that if I fail to do all my words today, I’m doomed to failure for the rest of the month. Am I to be content with the 16,000+ words I’ve written to date? Did I really think I’d be able to win at this bizarre goal of writing a full 1667 words every day for a month? Me, who has never written consistently daily in her life, who has never had a word count anywhere approaching 1667 every day. Should I be proud of my 10-day achievement and just try again next year? Or should I attempt to soldier on and see what happens the rest of this week?

I doubt that I’ll make up words as the month progresses: I’m already starting to burn out on ideas despite putting words to three different projects as the mood strikes me. Maybe I’ll make a good start on words tomorrow and not feel this despair, because tonight, my pillow beckons, and I have yet to brush my teeth and don my pajamas. It’s not midnight yet, but it’s quite late and the baby will be waking up long before I’m ready for him. So adieu for today. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow about continuing this crazy adventure.

Of course, I just checked my word count for today and it’s actually better than I thought. Maybe I really can do this!