Hi, all! I wrote this for the Los Angeles Romance Authors November newsletter and wanted to share it with all of you. Enjoy!
I am part of an email group of people who post a daily list of things that they are grateful for. Sometimes it’s small stuff – such as finding a parking space – and sometimes it’s larger things like getting good news about major health scares. The list is designed to remind us of all the reasons we have to be grateful.
We are galloping towards the major American holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas, traditionally seasons of gratitude when we reflect on those things in our lives that bring us joy. Often, at other times, we overlook these things in the daily hustle and bustle of life. I am a glass-half-full type of person by nature, but daily gratitude makes me look into everything that I truly have that has made my life wonderful. I want to share some of those things with you.
Since this article is for my local RWA chapter’s newsletter, I will focus mostly on the things that I am grateful for in relation to writing. In no particular order, those are:
I am grateful for discovering that half the battle is showing up. Too often in the past, when faced with a bump or a snag, I simply sidestepped the whole idea and moved onto something seemingly easier. By doing so, I short changed who I was and what I wanted to be as a writer.
I am grateful that I did not throw up my hands and give up when I received my first rejection from a contest. That rejection was followed, a day or two later, by a “yes” in another contest, one I ultimately placed second in.
I am grateful that I only placed in two out of the five contests I entered. Each victory was that much sweeter for the pain of seeing “we’re sorry, but…” in the days prior to that. It also taught me humility and to appreciate each win.
I am grateful that I joined LARA, the local RWA chapter in my area. I had thought about joining for years, but allowed my insecurity to stop me. I decided that they were all Very Accomplished Writers and I would have no place among them. How wrong that turned out to be (the “no place among them” part, anyway, as there are dozens of Very Accomplished Writers in the chapter).
I am grateful for the seemingly mundane: my health, a great job, a home of my own, purring felines, and the love and respect of my friends. These are easy things to take for granted when you have them, but if one slips, the whole house of cards can come tumbling down.
I am grateful that I don’t live in fear anymore. Anticipating the future gives it power it hasn’t earned. The future never turns out the way we imagine it will.
I am grateful I have learned that I cannot – and should not – control what other people think and do. I have to let them be who they are just as they need to let me be who I am.
I am grateful that I try to live each day as it happens and not live in anticipation of what “might” happen tomorrow. There is a sign on a saloon in New Orleans that says “free beer tomorrow.” You never get that free beer, because it is never tomorrow. It is always today.
I am grateful for today. Today is full of possibilities and tomorrow, which will soon be today, will have just as many possibilities in it. Today is never too late to live your dreams. For that, I am infinitely grateful.