♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Gratitude – What are you grateful for?
This year has been especially tough. My dad’s cancer recurred and my savings is getting chewed up by unexpected and high expenses. My health is suffering for it. That slippery slope to depression is just a tad to the left, or maybe I’ve already started sliding under it. I feel more overwhelmed than ever—more so than when I was in graduate school, working full time, writing the trilogy, maintaining this blog in its early stages, dealing with two months of a UTI with Sadie, and then somehow getting one myself, and the subsequent bill because my doctor used the wrong lab for my insurance plan. Oh, and then there is my car and the monthly maintenance starting a year ago–new brakes on two wheels, routine upkeep, four new tires, new snow tires, and on and on and on. Then, my landlord said, oh, by the way, we’re raising the rent on you to fair market value which is $300 more than you were paying, while you’re barely making ends meet. And everyone—EVERYONE—wants me to give money to something or do something that takes money.
In the middle of all that. I am honestly still grateful. I can easily be a Debbie Downer. This is what my year has been like:
I can’t say I can be grateful for good health. I don’t feel well, mentally or otherwise, to be honest. I can’t say that things are going well in any sector of my professional life. I’ve been on hold pattern for going on twenty years. I can’t say I’m grateful for a lot, but things change on a dime. I hope.
I am grateful that I have a job at all, though the income falls short, I have health benefits, though they fall short.
I am grateful for the closet full of clothes that I have, although, most have holes in them and/or stains, and are going on a decade or so many more in years. I buy new things on the cheap now and they last a few months. It’s expensive to live like this, but the choice is to replace something that has worn or pay the light bill, skip a couple meals…
I am grateful for my dog, though I am constantly concerned that as she ages things are going to get really tough. Do I have enough put away to cover her? I don’t even have enough put away to cover me. But I am grateful for her unyielding affection. I’m only sorry I get very little time with her because of my horrible schedule.
I am grateful to have a day off every other week to try and write. I don’t, literally, have any days off. I am going seven days a week on either errands, chores, work, cooking, maintaining the dog’s needs, and trying to blog and market my books. I no longer have time to write. My attitude is beginning to show that.
I am grateful that I had a savings account to meet this year. But what about this next year coming? Will things get better? So much for the house I was trying to save a down payment for. Even worse was the prospect of what I could afford to buy—it puts new meaning to fixer upper.
I am grateful that I am single, because as I watch family go through the pain of a bad break up, I know I won’t have to do that. It would be nice to have someone to help out, to love and be loved by, but the grass might only appear greener. As a single, I have only me to worry about, and only me to get things done, and only me to bring home an income, and only me to blame at the end of the day when it fails miserably like it has been this year.
But, I’m supposed to be thankful for still having a couple years left to have a kid if any at all, and pay for a donor because that’s not happening. Not holding my breath, like I’m not holding my breath for being able to go on a real vacation again any time soon (haven’t been on one in 15 years). But, I am thankful for my memories of those things I used to have back in the day.
Slowly loosing everything, reaching the bottom, I’m grateful that this too will change. I guess. That’s what they say.
Despite that awful list above, there really is a lot to be grateful for. Yes, almost all of it can be swept from under your feet in a moment. Be grateful more deeply in the moment, trust me, it might be all that keeps you warm one day—those memories. I choose to be grateful despite the bad. So what am I grateful for?
I am grateful for a couple things that don’t have a flip side, which I could get caught up moaning about. For one, I am grateful that I can still be grateful! Many don’t like the ideology of a positive mental attitude or choosing happiness, but as a survivor of depression and a lot of bad stuff, I can say it has worked for me. It’s okay if doesn’t work for someone else, because something that didn’t work for me works for them. I think having various options to try are more important, and someone to be patient enough to have your back as you do find what works for you.
Second, I am grateful that I know how to cook so well. When money is tight and I need to try and whip something together that is palatable and makes me feel some sense of wealth in that I have something to eat still, this skill is priceless. I can mix and match what’s in the pantry and fridge and get creative. This really hones those skills. It builds confidence, too.
And despite the knee-jerk desire to moan about all those things that might come if, there are a million more tiny little things I am grateful for every day. So, I choose to ignore the really crumby stuff this year has given me. After all, Dad is healing, money will come back in, divorces are often a good thing in hindsight, and, any month now, I might get the call from the doctor that my own little one is on the way. Even if those things fall apart, there are too many other things that are there to hold me up. So, don’t get bogged down in the yeah, but what if. Be grateful, even if you’re only grateful the stuff that worries you isn’t actually happening to you, that you get up every morning and that you have the opportunity to embrace the good things that must and will come to you.
Let’s see what other authors are grateful for, but before you go, check out ….Stevie Turner’s Bbooks
Stevie Turner hails from East Anglia, UK, and attributes the countryside of her home with giving her the inspiration to write. She has found her unique voice writing the kind of novels women like to read. To date she has self-published seven books, mainly dealing with the darker side of relationships and always a bit of humor. You can find details of her books on the website:
Stevie is married, with two sons and three grandchildren. If she isn’t writing or working, then you’ll find her walking around her pretty country village.
‘Do you like to read? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the MMB Open Book Blog Hop each Wednesday and they will tell all. Every week we’ll answer questions and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.’To join our Open Book Blog Hop – where we share all sorts of things about “life”.
<!– end InLinkz script —