I have a wonderful friend who texts me every day something she’s grateful for, and I text something back that I’m grateful for. We’ve been doing this for a while now and because she gets up so early, it’s usually one of the first things I do (after working out and hoping the babies go back to sleep, that is). I’ve been a proponent of gratitude for a long time. It’s impossible to have a mentality of gratitude and entitlement at the same time. I’ve posted a time or two about some of my frustrations with writing, and the self-doubts that are endemic to the profession. If I get sucked too far into the “it’s never gonna happen” place then I’ve found that gratitude is a great way to snap out of it. I ‘get’ to chase my dream. I ‘get’ the discretionary time (sometimes) to work on some novels that I really like. I ‘get’ to have something to say. That always helps.
My sense of gratitude is stronger this time of year than any other. There are a lot of special days for me at the beginning of April. For me it’s definitely a time of rebirth, renewal and redemption. Knowing where my life was and was headed and knowing where I am today makes me immensely grateful. I am now in a loving and happy marriage to a man I adore and respect and who adores me back. I have the most amazing three year old daughter (who was dedicated, by the way, on April 1st) and year-old twin boys (whose birthdays are April 7th). And a house. And a business. And friends.
But really, it’s the things you can’t see that mean the most. Self respect, dignity, being comfortable in my own skin, liking myself, telling the truth, saying sorry when I’m a jerk, admitting my flaws and being open to working on them, having a God in my life, feeling like that God likes me, forgiving people and letting go of resentments. The list goes on and on but you get the idea. I think I laugh every day now and I can cry too, although I rarely do. All these things were the result of immense pain and discomfort. This time eleven years ago I thought my world was ending, and part of me wanted it to. In a way, my world did end, and good riddance because the new one is way, way better. There have been people who have walked this path with me; some part of the way, some since the beginning. Thank you doesn’t cover it and I’m not a good enough writer to come up with the words. Today I love my life, even when it’s hard, and I’m excited about tomorrow, every day.