In this week leading up to Thanksgiving in the states, I have been taking time to reflect on the past year and the things I am thankful for. There are many people who have helped me along my path to publication. I will talk about them next week. For now I want to give thanks for the obstacles placed along that writing path...
1. My full time job
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE working at my Taekwondo school. I have worked and trained with my best friend for the past thirteen years. But I do consider it an obstacle because the hours are incredibly long (12+ each day) and the demands on mind and body are high. I'm thankful for my job because working in the martial arts has allowed me to improve my self-control and self-discipline skills. Writing is a solitary career and being able to stay focused on the task at hand will help me succeed in my writing goals.
2. My limited income
Most people would be amazed at what I am able to achieve with my little paycheck. It is enough to keep the wolves from my door and sometimes food on the table. Without extra money for the luxuries of conferences, workshops, and online writing courses I need to be creative with my learning curve. I read books on the craft of writing...tons of them. I go through about 300 emails EACH DAY where I have followed numerous writing blogs, FB pages, Twitter handles, LinkedIn groups, and others. They are the experts who provide the writing community with their words of wisdom so why should I not learn from them? One day I might be able to afford the writing luxuries I wish for but until then I'm thankful I have an old Mac computer and can afford internet service (for now) so I can continue to improve my writing skills.
3. My recent illnesses
I know you will probably think I am crazy to being thankful for two potentially life threatening illnesses but I am. When I was diagnosed with my first illness I confess it took me six hard months to come to terms with it. I fought confusion, frustration, depression, and fear while I struggled to learn more about an illness so rare in terms of other maladies NO ONE in the medical community could answer my questions. Combine that with no insurance and it equals no support moving forward. Then I was diagnosed with another serious illness about three weeks ago. This one is more common but just as potentially dangerous as the other one. I don't mention my illnesses or lack of medical insurance to garner sympathy. I am thankful my mother raised no fools and I'm thankful I have the intelligence to figure out how to deal with these illnesses on my own. My pharmacist has told me it will be almost impossible to control these two major health factors with no medical support and considering other medical issues going on with me. I intend to prove him wrong...and I have so far.
A thankful heart doesn't come from having everything handed to you on a silver platter. A thankful heart comes from realizing you don't have to be a doormat when LIFE comes stomping through your door. A thankful heart comes from knowing there is an inner strength in each of us NO ONE can take from us and only YOU choose when you will cast it aside. And a thankful heart continues to see the beauty in the world around us...even when a dark cloud hangs over us casting a shadow on our happiness.
I'm grateful I was born with a thankful heart...