Monday, November 19, 2007

There's Much to be Thankful For

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.

15 comments:

deseng said...

Is it Thanksgiving the best holiday? I just love this time of year when all my relatives get together! We feast all day long, chatter, gossip and visit with one another. There is laughter galore! It feels just right to be with everyone you love. We always have close to 35 people at our house. Everyone always brings some food and something to drink.

Yes, I agree that we need to remember the soldiers in Iraq for keeping us all safe. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Remember to save room for pie!

Michele

Nathalie said...

I prefer christmas... and the cooking must be quite tedious!!

Happy thanksgiving!

Shirley Hailstock said...

Natalie,

I love to cook the big meals. I like the planning, the table setting, everything about it. It's the day to day meals I hate.

I've taken several baking courses and always do some elaborate dessert.

This year Thanksgiving will be simple and I'm looking forward to it.

Shirley

tam said...

I'm not the cook in the family, that honor goes to my husband. When there is a big meal, you will find him in the kitchen cooking away. I will do the clean up as needed.

Kimberly L said...

Good luck with the cooking. Have a great Thanksgiving!!!!!

Shirley Hailstock said...

Tam,

Does he have a brother...one who cooks too???

Shirley :)

Nathalie said...

Hum... I would also like to have cooking classes!

Elaborate desserts... your family is lucky!

ruth said...

Great holiday which I love. A fun filled meal with all my friends and my daughters have worked all day to make this special meal a celebration.

diane said...

We have our entire family from out of town for several days and a wonderful feast and fun.

ellie said...

We join friends whose culinary delights are the ultimate. What an enjoyable day spending time relaxing and eating with family and friends.

sabrina said...

Cooking is my specialty so I go all out for this meal. My mom helps on the side and it works out well.

pearl said...

Thanksgiving is a special day to spend with wonderful friends who we appreciate. They make their own unique spread.

Susan said...

Wishing all of you and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving!

tam said...

No, sorry Shirley no brother but he does have a sister. She likes cooking too but not as much.

Lily said...

There is so much to be thankful for... just being healthy and have a family is one!