Back when I was in college I met a woman who became a good friend. She was the Director of Students, but she was only a few years older than I was. She once told me that she was thoroughly depressed about losing a boyfriend. He was a high-profile actor and everyone recognized him. When she was with him, there was an added prestige she garnered from both her friends and his.
When the relationship broke up, the prestige went with it and it plunged her into a place that she thought was dark and so deep she couldn’t claw her way out of it. One night, in the wee hours of the morning when she was unable to sleep, she got up and took a piece of paper. She drew a line down the middle and on one side wrote Good and the other Bad. She wrote down the things in her life that were good and weighed them against those that were not. This list was much longer on the good side of the page.
I have never forgotten this technique when I’m feeling low or feeling that my life is spinning out of control and there is nothing I can do about. The good always outweighs the bad. At this writing Thanksgiving is approaching and I have much to be thankful for. Much to list on the good side of my paper and very little on the not so good side.
I sent in a manuscript this morning (wee hours mind you, but it’s done). That in and of itself is a monumentally good thing. I finished the book, developed the blank page into real live people who I liked and wanted to spend time with.
I have my family, immediate and extended, all well and healthy. I have my romance writer friends, all supportive and eager to share information. I have non-romance writer friends who I’ll see and toast the holidays with.
I have my shopping done for the big meal on Thursday and the beginnings of some Christmas shopping done. I can spend some quality time with my daughter since I don’t have a deadline to keep me chained to the computer. We can do whatever it is she wants to do (within reason). She’s five.
On the not so good side, I have to cook the meal. But then I do get the leftovers. I have to clean the house, both for Thanksgiving and before I begin another writing project. If I don’t, it won’t get done until after the next book. And by then I won’t be able to get into my office.
So you see the good is much longer than the bad. Have a good holiday. Don’t eat too much. And remember the soldiers who are keeping us safe to enjoy family, friends, and a good meal. Happy Thanksgiving.