Giving thanks

Last year’s Atkins-approved dessert: Delicious pumpkin cheesecake.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, I’m reminded just how much I have to be thankful for today (and every day).

Here’s a quick rundown:

My brother, his wife and their fun, feisty kiddos, playing Rock Band during my February visit.

My family, including (but not limited to) the Boyfriend, my roommate and my brother and his family. I might not get to see Dan and his family often enough — that’s what happens when you don’t live in the same state. That doesn’t mean I’m not thankful to have them in my life.

An old picture of Cocoa, from when she was a puppy. She’s still adorable, just much older now.

My dog, Cocoa, and cats Destiny and Spirit. I can’t imagine life without Spirit trying to burrow under my covers to cuddle with me, or Cocoa greeting me at the door when I come home.

My job. Sure, the hours (3 to midnight) suck and the work is pretty thankless. We have to remember a thousand things each shift, and hear about any mistakes without getting praise for all the things we did right. Still, I’m glad to have a job. Too many people don’t. And with the newspaper industry in the state it’s in, I’m always mindful my job may not be around forever.

*snort.* To think I went into journalism instead of majoring in creative writing because I figured it’d be steady work to support myself with until I sold my first novel.

The support of friends. My fellow writers, whether I know them in real life (like my fellow NARWAns and Starcatchers sisters) or online (like my critique partner, many of the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood, the Chicklets and my Power Writing Hour friends), are an endless source of encouragement and inspiration. They push me to keep going when I feel like I’m never going to get published. I hope I do the same for them.

Blogging and social media. My blog keeps me … if not on track, at least honest when I fall off the wagon. It also makes me more likely to get back up and try again, sooner. And the fitness-minded friends I’ve made via other blogs, Facebook and Twitter are another great source of encouragement and inspiration.

Apple. A silly thing to be thankful for, perhaps, but I’m glad Steve Jobs had a vision and built a company that provides easy-to-use gadgets to the masses. I absolutely love my MacBook and iPhone. They both allow me to keep up with blogs and other social media. Plus, things like Instagram and PocketBooth are just plain fun.

I took this strip of photos in PocketBooth (a free app they gave away at Starbucks a few weeks ago) at work one night. It takes multiple images at a set interval, then spits out photo strips, just like those booths at the mall.

My health, such as it is. Could it be better? Yes. But I’m plugging away (most days). I can walk/run and I can eat what I choose without fearing debilitating allergic reactions. My mental state is sound (as much as a writer’s can be … I think all writers are a little crazy. We do, after all, have many, many characters’ voices chattering in our heads.) and my outlook is mostly positive.

There you have it. I really am blessed, in so many ways.

What are you thankful for today (and every day)?

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