Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving Joys

Happy Day After Thanksgiving everyone! I've recovered from my food coma (mostly) unscathed and am ready to function like a normal human being again. I always love Thanksgiving for the food and family of course, but my family has a particular tradition that I enjoy more and more with each passing year. After dinner is over, we go around the table and say what we are thankful for. EVERYTHING we are thankful for. I live in a family of talkers so you can imagine it takes about an hour. But that's kind of a wonderful thing that we're all grateful for so much. Graciousness, I think, is one of the often over looked virtues in this world.

So today on the blog, I would like to talk about what I'm thankful for this year. And boy is there a lot.

I'm thankful for my family. My family has always been entirely accepting of me and my dreams. They have never doubted my aspirations and they have always encouraged me to work hard. My parents were not my friends growing up. They were parents. They set limits. They pushed me. They called me out when I did something wrong. They held me to a high standard. And because of that, I have always strived to reach my full potential.

I am grateful for my siblings, especially for the close relationship we have. I don't fight with my siblings. We get along. We have meaningful discussions. And they're so different I learn something different from both of them. They are some of my biggest fans and I couldn't ask for a better older brother and sister.

I am grateful for my grandmother, now 87 years old, who was able to visit us this Thanksgiving. She is truly a remarkable woman, brilliant and strong. She relates to every one of her grandchildren despite the age gap and never talks down. I am so lucky to have her in my life and I hope to have her in my life for many years to come.

I am grateful that my family is still together and close, as so many families aren't. Divorce rates are high in the US. There are a lot of families split in half. I am so lucky to be a part of a family that is whole.

I am grateful for my friends, both from high school and college. They all get me, some way or another. They understand my loves and interests. They fangirl with me over shows and books. They stay up late talking with me. Some of them write with me. And we are never put off by our weirdness. We are a large group of odd artists who fit together perfectly. And a special shout out to my roommate who I could not do without.

I am grateful for everything that has happened this year in my writing career. I am grateful for my agent, Laura Zats, who picked me out of the slushpile and saw some potential in my book. Even though it needed copious editing. I'm so lucky to have her. I am grateful for my book deal with Curiosity Quills Press. Though I have only worked with them a short time, they have already been so friendly and communicative. I appreciate that and look forward to good things in the future.

I am grateful also, for all the stumbles that have led up to this time. I am grateful that I was rejected so many times for my first book only to find the perfect match with my second. I am grateful that it took so long because everything worth having takes time.

I am grateful for the improvements in my anxiety, and more than that, I am grateful that I have anxiety. A lot of my friends right now are going through the same rough patches I did, and sometimes it helps to able to say 'I know the feeling. I know it isn't alright right now. But it will be.' Its hard for people without anxiety to understand it, so being able to comfort my friends has been a huge blessing.

I am grateful for God most of all, and for his guidance in my life and the blessings I don't deserve. He is good through the struggles and the joys.

And of course I am grateful to all of my readers out there. Happy Thanksgiving.

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