This year did not go according to plan—at all. On the contrary, it deviated greatly from the voted upon and accepted schedule (pronounced “shed-jewel”) proposed in January, when I had such grand delusions of a completed manuscript by year’s end.
But God had other plans. How dare He.
Of course I jest, and I’m not going to rehash things previously mentioned, but suffice it to say, this was a period of time I found it difficult to be grateful for much of anything. My world wore black.
However, it’s during these trials in life that it’s imperative to remember the grace we’ve been given. “Count your blessings” isn’t an old wives tale for nothing, and they mean to do just that—make a gratitude list.
So I did.
Not immediately, mind you, and when I did, it wasn’t easy. The first list consisted of the bare necessities: a roof over my head, food in my mouth, and money to pay the bills. Each day I’d review it, and each day, it remained the same.
After awhile, I began to add things: good health, supportive friends, my family, and creature comforts like heat in the winter, and in time, the warmth and comfort from above. In the darkness of heartache, gratitude brought light.
And then my sister’s health was threatened.
Needless to say, I freaked, at least initially, but continued listing the good, dismissing the bad, and seeking direction and comfort for both. I’m grateful to be here for her, as she’s always been there for me.
I’m not saying that all was well with my soul, nor am I professing to know much about anything—the whys, what-fors, and how-comes of it all—for mighty and mysterious is the universe, and I’m not privy to its secrets.
What I am saying, though, is the attitude of gratitude (oh, crap—how cliché ), along with the positive thinking I wrote about in an earlier post strengthened this questioning man’s faith and pulled me through a most difficult time. It also readied me for the next battle, and the future entanglements that come with…well…life.
So I guess this is my Obligatory Thanksgiving Day Post, but I hope you see it for much more than that—more than the remembrance of a three-day feast for an abundant harvest, shared with the lucky Native Americans who survived the smallpox we brought over and gave us their land in exchange for future casinos.
This Thursday, take with you the feeling of family and gratitude you have and apply it to all the days of your life. Unplug from the negative; plug into the positive. You’ll be the better person for it, I assure you.
A Special Thank You
And on that note, I’d like to thank all of you for your support during such a trying year; for reading my bellyaching and seeing me through the heartache, some of you holding my hand in the process. I am extremely grateful. To list you by name is unnecessary, it’s all of you reading this—and then some.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank two special people who’ve recently honored me with the gift of acknowledgement:
First, thank you, Liz Blocker, for The Sunshine Award, which she gave after reading the positivity post mentioned above. Usually I only pick one of the questions, but this is an easy one, and since Liz is relatively new and doesn’t know too much about me, I’ll answer them all in one fell swoop.
- My favorite color is earth tones. Serious. Give me something in the greens and yellows, oranges and umbers and I’m good to go.
- As for animals, I’m a dog-lover first and foremost, but as far as exotics go, giraffes and koalas. They look sweet and cuddly and make for good stuffed animals, but can probably put a hurtin’ on your butt when cornered.
- My favorite numbers are like my sins—cardinal and irrational.
- I’m a Proud Pepper, seeing as though my favorite non-alcoholic drink is Dr. Pepper. Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper, too?
- My favorite alcoholic drink is “On The House,” and at times, “The Next One.”
- When it comes to Facebook or Twitter, I lean towards FB; I’m usually wordier than 140 characters. But Twitter teaches me to be succinct. Needless to say, I need to spend a little more time there.
- My passions are for all of the fine arts…and a respect for those at which I’ve tried my hand. I’m in awe of all the masters of each medium.
- I’m a giver by nature, so anytime I get something, I’m happy.
- My favorite city has been San Diego. It’s a big ol’ city with a small-town appeal—beautiful neighborhoods, museums, and parks, with a modern-day downtown of fantastic skyscrapers. There’s always something to do, and did I mention it’s on the west coast?
- I’m a child of the TV generation and grew up with wholesome role models like the Bradys and the Partridges, and vaguely remember Romper Room and H.R. Puff’n’stuff. There have been too many good TV shows over the years to pick a favorite, but I am partial to sit-coms (not a bunch of laugh lines), and have had a weakness for supernatural shows ever since the days of Dark Shadows.
Make sure to check out Liz’s ramblings at her blog. I do, and she has some excellent stories to share on her journey to publication. She’s a spit-fire gal with a zest for life who’s a real joy to watch and follow.
And this past Sunday, Al Diaz, from Father Dragon Writes, bestowed upon me (and I don’t use that term loosely) The Golden Scale Award, for which I’m extremely honored. It’s been a pleasure to get to know Al over the year, and if you know anything about dragons, they have the biggest hearts around, but are very selective about who receives one of their scales. Thank you, Al—it’s beautiful, as are you.
My wishes for you this Thanksgiving weekend are good food, great health, safe journeys, and wonderful new memories made with friends and family.
And gratitude—unplug the negative; plug in the positive.
Could you pass the gravy, please?
An Alzheimer’s caregiver for the past ten years, he has published several articles on The Alzheimer’s Reading Room, the largest online website catering to that community, and plans to write a novel about his experience in caregiving.
He resides in Florida with his dogs, Rameses and Buster, attempting to reclaim his side of the bed.