Elizabeth: Taking a Moment for Joy and Gratitude

That headlong rush toward the end of the year, which seemed so far away back in January, is well underway.  The turkey hasn’t even been carved yet, but I’ve already seen folks posting that they have finished their Christmas shopping.  My house is still boasting its fall decorations, though I will admit I put the outdoor winter decorations up on Saturday.  Normally, decorations don’t go up until the turkey is in the oven, but this year I made an exception since rain was in the forecast.  I felt very pleased with my decision when I heard rain pelting the windows this afternoon.  Glad I decided to skip washing the car too. 🙂

Whatever you may or may not be celebrating, it’s always nice to take a moment to pause for a bit of gratitude.

  • I’m grateful to be a part of a great community of writers and to have the chance to reach out to other writers via this blog; it’s something that has certainly made me joyful.
  • I’m grateful for my recent day job promotion, which came with a fancy new title and will give me the opportunity to do some truly meaningful work; it’s something that makes me joyful (and maybe a little apprehensive).
  • Mostly, I’m grateful for family and friends who, when they don’t drive me crazy, make me joyful indeed.

So, what’s on your gratitude list?

Nancy: On Gratitude

In the US, it’s that time of year again: the beginning of the holiday season. First up, American Thanksgiving. From an historical context, this holiday and the ‘facts’ we Americans know about it have their problems. In the modern era, the day has become associated with overeating, dealing with disagreeable relatives, and watching a lot of football. But at its core, both historically and currently, there is something truly lovely that Thanksgiving reminds Americans to do – be grateful.

Speaking for myself, fellow Americans I know, and the general aura we project as a nation, we are not great at gratitude. So, an annual holiday that reminds us to give thanks – whether we do it in a spiritual or secular context – isn’t a bad thing.

Earlier this year, I began a (sporadic) practice of meditation to help focus my energy and calm my nerves in these…er…troubling (to say the least) times. One of the most interesting guided meditations I’ve done is to be used before a meal. It leads the listener through a series of gratitude exercises, thinking about each person who ‘touched’ the food – from planting to harvesting, to packaging and shipping, to stocking shelves and checking out food at the store – and being grateful for the way each of them contributed to getting that food in front of you. Even for the most basic salad, it takes a village to make a meal.

As I’ve gotten back on track with my writing and have been following the Jen Louden’s GSSD (Get Scary Shit Done) program, I’ve been reminded by her lessons and my own reflection to be grateful for all the things that allow my writing time to happen, from the weird way my brain works to create story, to the amazing technology that allows me to get it all out onto the page. Even during a crappy day of writing, I can find reasons for gratitude. I’m grateful when I have the strength and energy to show up, the support of other writers when the going gets really tough, other stories to read for inspiration and solace when my own story is stuck (like my WIP is today). And it turns out, I’m reaping a whole host of positive things from simply finding and reflecting upon a reason to be grateful every day. Continue reading

Nancy: On Gratitude

Season of Gratitude

Those of you living in the States know that this coming Thursday is the day we Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving. For many, this is a day of hectic traveling and imprudent overeating. But it’s also a day of gathering together with loved ones and reflecting on the things in our lives for which we’re grateful.

It shouldn’t take a special holiday to make us realize the wonderful things in our lives and show gratitude for them. But speaking for myself, I get busy, caught up in life, and don’t always take time to acknowledge how fortunate I am. So, in the spirit of the season Continue reading