finding gratitude and joy

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We come to the time of year when we celebrate yet another problematic American holiday.

Growing up, we’re taught a very sanitized version of the history of the country we call home. We’re taught about the first Thanksgiving in a way that perpetuates the myth of how the white people who are my ancestors were helped by the “friendly” Native Americans as if it was all peaceful and they weren’t taking land that wasn’t theirs to take.

Needless to say, I have mixed feelings about the origins of the holiday, so I tend to focus on it being a day to spend with family and be thankful for the year…well, in normal years anyway.

In the last two years, it might seem hard to be thankful. With so much illness and death, the loss of jobs and livelihoods, the isolation of quarantine and lockdown. So much sorrow to dwell in.

I guess that’s the challenge this week; find all the good, the reasons for joy. Let’s celebrate those things in this week of gratitude. I can’t quite bring myself to celebrate the notion that I’m still here, not when over a quarter of a million of our population has died, but certainly, there are other things I can celebrate.

  1. I found a job that pays me well and suits my talents.
  2. I have begun shopping around my next novel, and the two sequels are in very good shape.
  3. I have approval to work remotely permanently. Pajama pants and hoodies all day every day.
  4. My family is, by and large, healthy.
  5. I am good at what I do and I love what I do.
  6. I have a stack of books to read, and time to read them.
  7. I have some of the most amazing friends in the world…all over the world.
  8. I have a gift for recognizing toxic people very quickly and have learned to disengage.
  9. Coffee. Forever and always.
  10. Fandom that isn’t toxic. I’ve largely withdrawn from most fandom arenas, but there is joy to be found in a fandom about that thing you love. Find it.

I hope this week brings you kindness and joy, gratitude and happiness. You are loved, Reader. Spread that around.

Photo by Rosie Kerr on Unsplash

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