Here in the U.S., this is Thanksgiving weekend. It is, bar none, my favorite holiday. It’s dedicated to food, family and friends, and being thankful for what you have. Mostly food. I’ve cooked Thanksgiving dinner for most of the last fifteen years, with varying numbers of people. Last year we had thirteen, this year only four. Although I change up the menu every year, these items are always on the table: mashed potatoes, gravy, and pumpkin pie. No, not even turkey is guaranteed–this year I roasted a duck.
This November has been a challenging one. I turned fifty just before it began–which seems a small thing, and I thought I was okay with it, but it freaked me out more than I realized. I published my second book, which was great, but involved a fair amount of work to promote it during its first two weeks. I changed day jobs, merging my little law firm with another little law firm, which entailed a huge amount of work. And I got sick. Possibly shingles–no one is entirely too sure, least of all my doctor–but whatever it was caused an infection and made my eyelid swell so severely I could barely see. I had to take antibiotics, to which I discovered 9 days later I was allergic, so I broke out in hives. EVERYwhere. Another round of medication to combat those, and now at the end of the month I am finally feeling better and no longer frighten small children when I go out in public.
So for the past month, I haven’t been feeling particularly thankful. I’ve been grumpy (and itchy) as hell, feeling depressed and ugly and pathetic. Simply getting out of bed was a struggle, let alone everything else, and I certainly didn’t manage to succeed at NaNoWriMo this year. But as I write this post on Thanksgiving morning, sipping my morning tea before anyone else is awake, my gratitude is creeping back in.
Although I am grateful for so much more, here are five things for which I am particularly thankful this weekend:
- My family and friends, who love and support me even when I am bitchy and covered in spots.
- My law partner, who did most of that huge amount of work.
- The Internet. Seriously! The amount of information that is available at one’s fingertips is astonishing, if you really think about it, and remember the days before it existed. Give yourself a moment, go ahead–remember.
- My critique partners, near and far, who make me laugh and cry and help me polish my prose until it sings.
- The joy that books have brought me in this life, the places they have transported me, simply can’t be measured. And to all the authors of those books–those I have the honor to call friends and those I wish I could–thank you.