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Musing: Giving Thanks
For those of us in the United States, Thursday is Thanksgiving Day—time to focus on our blessings and express our gratitude.
Of course, it’s come to mean so many other things to different people.
It’s the “official” start of the Christmas season, though, unofficially, the beginning was weeks ago. For us, it’s the day we put up Christmas decorations. I don’t care much for the shopping, but I love the festive lights and displays.
It’s a day for families to gather and enjoy a traditional shrimp dinner. Oh, wait, that’s just me. Growing up, I ate many of my Thanksgiving meals on Shem Creek just outside of Charleston, so, yes, shrimp and grits sounds about perfect for the holiday. I’ll leave the turkey and ham for the rest of you.
And it’s certainly a day for the football aficionados. I’m not one of those, but I certainly hope you have a great time if that’s your goal.
However you spend the day, please take at least a few moments and focus on that original meaning—giving thanks.
One of the most beneficial habits I’ve developed is taking a few minutes each day to focus on gratitude. It started as a part of my daily journaling, a simple pause in the evening to reflect and highlight something that went well.
It’s human nature to remember the bad. Regret for the mistake made. Anger for the disrespectful person encountered. Frustration over world events. Social media and our fragmented society accentuate the negative. The good things can often get overwhelmed by the negativity.
For me, the antidote has been a purposeful moment of positive reflection. With a little focus, I think of the new song that made my toe tap, the joke that elicited a laugh, the greeting from a stranger that induced a smile, or a dog’s antics that warmed my heart. That purposeful moment to record such a moment in my journal helped me.
We’ve expanded on that daily gratitude tradition. Each evening, as we prepare dinner or sit down in a restaurant or relax with a glass of wine in the backyard, we take a moment to express our gratitude aloud for something that day. It’s turned into a toast, a clinking of glasses to salute each other’s positive thought, a shared moment of thanks.
The habit has become so ingrained that we both insist on it, regardless of what else is happening around us. A bright spot no matter how rough the day.
In that spirit, let me take a moment to say thank you, Dear Reader. When I started posting stories and anecdotes in the pre-Facebook days (UseNet and ListServs), I never expected people to read, comment, or engage. It was never meant to be anything more than a little creative release after a long day in a dreary corporate office.
As those stories attracted more and more readers, I never dared to think of writing and publishing novels. And even if I did, how many people would spend actual money for them?
Yet, here I sit with three published novels, each selling thousands of copies, and a fourth coming soon (cover reveal next month!).
For that opportunity, I am grateful. In the spirit of the approaching holiday, let me say it loudly and clearly.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Take a moment this week to look someone in the eye, call them, or write them a letter and say thank you. Share that gratitude. Yes, it will make them feel good, but it will do the same for you as well.
Enjoyed the Story? Try a Novel
If you enjoyed today’s musing, please consider reading one of my novels. Each standalone book tells the story of big lives in a small town, ordinary people facing extraordinary challenges.
Gratuitous Dog Photo: Busy Little Prince
His Royal Highness Little Prince Typhoon Phooey must have a hectic calendar today based on his serious look and hectic pace. Siblings to pester. Humans to annoy. Paper to be shredded. Such is the life of a busy Little Prince.
On The Website This Week
I’ve been quite slack in my fiction reading. I’ve devoured a number of craft and technical books the last few months and have started but not finished a number of novels. Thankfully, I finally broke my dry spell, so I added Black Out by Lisa Unger to my Books Read list.
Spectacular Vernacular Word of the Week: Sometimes the etymology of a word makes me laugh. This is one of those moments. Pumpernickel.
U.S. Thanksgiving is this week. Will cranberry sauce be on your table? Read what my readers think about it.
From one holiday “favorite” to another. Take this month’s survey on fruitcake.
Until Next Monday
Have a great week and be thankful for the good things that happen.
See you next Monday.
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