I’m Thankful for…

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Right now, I admit, I’m having a harder time than usual feeling thankful–which isn’t to say that I don’t have anything to be thankful for, but it’s harder to push through the clouds of fear and dread sounding this country and my family and friends. But in spite of all this, I’m thankful for so many things.

In no particular order, I’m thankful for:

The people who are fighting for the rights of the marginalized  people in this world. They inspire me to do my part and refuse to give up.

My children who teach me daily how to be a better person.  They’re brave and brilliant and unflinchingly afraid to be who they truly are. They’re amazing, and I wouldn’t change anything about them. That’s a lie. They could be a little better about doing dishes and cleaning litter boxes. But other than that? We’re good.

My husband who makes me laugh–even in the face of what seems like insurmountable bullshit. He’s also incredibly supportive and one of my best friends.

My family. I adore my family–seriously adore them. I’m the oldest of the five of us (three boys and two girls) and we’re all incredibly close. We’ve always got each other’s back. And we’re also good when it’s time for tough love, too. And our mom is, by far the very best one.

My amazing friends. I’m pretty sure I won the lottery with these women. They’re wise, supportive, hilarious, brilliant, generous, talented, kind,  and they’ve got the tough love available when I need it.

My cats. Crazy cat lady writers are a bit of a cliché, but they keep me calm, cheer me up, make me laugh, and help me keep life in perspective.

Nature. I’m grateful for the wild places, the waves that pound against the shore, the riot of brilliant leaves in autumn, the explosion of scent and color in the spring, the intricate patterns of frost, and the ice that glistens on bare branches in winter, and the  canopy of rustling summer leaves beneath the sky heavy with stars. All of these things speak to me and soothe my soul like few things can.

A roof over my head, food to eat, and clean water to drink. Circumstances aren’t particularly ideal at the moment, but they’re certainly not horrific, either. I’m grateful for what we have and that we’re together. Yeah…I know. That sounds cheesy. But whatevs.

The stories, music, and art that speak to me. I’m grateful for the creations that keep me sane, help me to see the world through a different lens, and help help me to escape when I need it.

Fabric, yarn, clay, and all the other bits and pieces of things that I use to make other things. I’m grateful that I have the ability to make things–both as a form of relaxation for myself and to bring a smile to others.

The freedom and ability to write and express myself. I’m also incredibly grateful to and honored by those who read what I’ve written. Thanks, guys. It’s incredibly appreciated.

I know I’m lucky. I have a world of privileges and options that so many others don’t. Someday, very soon, I hope I can add thankfulness for equality for all people to this list.

I’m thankful for more things. But I’m also tired AF, and right now, I’m especially thankful for clean, flannel sheets and a husband who’s warming up my side of the bed for me. Be sure to check out what Kellie and Paige are thankful for.

I’m Thankful For…

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I’ll be the first to admit that I have an incredibly amazing life. I don’t mean that in a braggy way–I just consider myself wildly lucky, and I’m grateful for so many people and things. Some of these will be pretty personal and some will be of the fluffier variety–but all are appreciated.

In no particular order, these are the things I’m grateful for.

Whoever invented salt and vinegar chips and salted dark chocolate. I love those people a lot.

The strength to remove myself from negative situations – both professional and personal.  I can’t tell you how much better that’s made my life.

My kids. Holy shit, my kids. I’m so grateful for these two, I’m not even sure I can put it into words. Yeah. I know it’s my job to use words and all, but some things just defy explanation. However, I’ll try. I am convinced I have the kids I was meant to have–I feel like they might have driven other parents to beat them and I feel like we might have wanted to strangle other kids. Some days, they drive me batshit crazy, but most days, I’m in awe at their cleverness, their kind and giving natures, their brilliant self-expression, their unflagging ability to truly be themselves even when it’s hard and scary, their emotional honesty, their wicked senses of humor, and their openness and willingness to accept others.

My husband is pretty freaking awesome. He’s not perfect, but he’s pretty perfect for me. Yeah, there are some days I want to throat punch him, but those days aren’t very common. He makes me laugh nearly every day, he’s unflaggingly supportive and loving and he’s an awesome dad. Also?  He gets me.

My family. I love my parents, brothers, sister, their spouses, nieces and nephews the whole crazy pile of them. Sure, we want to strangle each other sometimes, but I’m so crazy lucky to get to travel through life with these people. I don’t know that anyone makes me laugh as hard as they do. And these are the same people who will drop everything to help others.

My friends. OMG, my friends. I literally have the most amazing friends on the planet. Every single one of them is incredibly kind and supportive. These are the people who will do whatever it takes to help the people they love. They’re bright, talented, and hilariously funny. (What? So I gravitate toward funny people. It happens.) But I love these people. I love them so hard, and I would utterly devastated without them.

Readers. Those who read my books and those who don’t. I love that they’re out there reading making it possible for authors to keep doing what they love best.

The internet. Look, the internet is where a lot of my friends live. It’s also where Netflix and Tumblr and Twitter and, yes, Facebook are. Also? It’s where my job is. Writing books and editing books. Yeah, I could do that stuff without the internet, but this makes it a hell of a lot easier.

Cats. Yeah, I said it. I love the furry little assholes.

Adderall. Nope – not even trying to be funny, here. I finally feel like I can think clearly again for the first time in years. Without evangelizing too much, here’s why in detail.

Creativity. I’m so glad that I can do things like write and knit and sew and cross stitch and make pottery. I’m not sure what I’d even do with myself if I couldn’t.

Okay, I think I’ve rambled on enough. What are you grateful for? Oh, and be sure to check out the other bloggers’ posts by clicking their names.

Jess

Kellie

Jessica

Gwen

So Freaking Thankful!

Thankful Scrabble

There’s that adage that you see all over Pinterest – or, at least, you do if you spend as much time there as I’m known to do, that says:

It’s not happy people who are thankful. It’s thankful people who are happy.

I think there’s definitely some truth to that.  I know that I’m happier and more content when I’m focusing on the good things in my life rather than the crap ones. However, that’s not always an easy thing to remember in the midst of a shit storm.

And in a lot of ways, there’s been a whole lotta shit this year. However, there have been amazing things, too. So I’m going to take a few minutes to talk about a few of the things I’m thankful for that have emerged this year that have far overshadowed the crap.

1.) My kids. If you’ve been here for any length of time, you know I’m crazy about my kids. They’re amazing individuals, and I’d think that even if they weren’t mine. I’m thankful that we can laugh and cry together, that they feel safe enough to tell me anything, that they’re bravely following their dreams even when it’s difficult, and frankly, scary, and that they’re kind and giving people.

2.) My husband. he drives me batshit crazy some days, but I’m more in love with this man than I’ve ever been. He’s a loving father, he works his ass off for us, he tries to make me laugh every single day, and he’s always willing to work shit out and own his crap.

3.) My family. I won the family lotto with my mom, sibs, SILs and BIL, nieces, nephews and cousins – dad and stepmom and aunts and uncles, too. Yeah, we drive each other nuts sometimes, but we’re always able to talk stuff out. I love that open communication is a thing in my family. I know it’s not in a lot of families.

4.) My friends. I literally have the most amazing friends on the planet, and I know how damn lucky I am. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without any of them. I don’t think a more supportive, loving, hilarious  group of people exists. And I’m thankful that they let me hang out with them – IRL and OL.

5.) Readers – whether you’re reading my books or someone else’s you’re making it possible for writers to follow their dreams and I love you guys for that.

6.) The courage to take chances. It’s no secret that I can be a timid chickenshit about a lot of things, but this year, I’ve made a lot of changes. Some were hard and hurt a lot – though I’m better off for them.  Some were scary, but so worthwhile.

7.) The little things that make life better, like: cats, therapy, crafting, Netflix, the internet, stories, laughter, music, sleep, clean sheets, tea, writing retreats, a cozy home, food in the cupboard, coffee, scented candles, ebooks, Ren faires, concerts, Lake Superior, changing seasons, chocolate covered strawberries, truffles, salt and vinegar chips, nail polish, lip balm, fingerless mitts, rocks, Skinny Pop, Costco, social media, Amazon Prime and a million other things I’m forgetting.

8.) I wrote this post a few days ago, and I realized this morning that I needed to add to it. I’m also thankful for the people in my life that have taught me some unpleasant but important lessons. Sometimes, for me, anyway, it’s necessary to learn things the hard way. These particular lessons were a long time coming, and I’m glad that I finally learned them. Without those particular people as teachers, I probably wouldn’t have.

What are you thankful for? Tell me in the comments! And click on the names below to find out what the other bloggers are thankful for, too.

Jess

Gwen

Kris

Kellie