So, this is the time of year that everyone’s thoughts turned to giving thanks, and most bloggers have a “Giving Thanks” blog. Normally, I eschew the cliché, just because I like doing my own thing. But on reflection, I realized that this has been a huge year for me. So much has changed, including starting this blog. So, I felt it was really appropriate to send out a Thankful post.
What am I so grateful for?
- My David. Not only is he my editor and cheerleader-in-chief, he is my life partner. He is the puzzle piece that fits into my soul that I didn’t know was missing. He’s my partner-in-crime when it comes to adventure and is always willing to indulge my curiosity and trying new things. He is the one who made me the writer happen, giving me the strength and confidence in my own intelligence and talents when I was at a really low point in my life. He tells me everyday that I’m the most beautiful woman in the world, he makes me laugh, he takes care of me when I’m sick, and he makes me a better human being. I couldn’t have written the book without his support, and I definitely wouldn’t be where I am without his love and support.
- Speaking of a book…I am so thankful that I accomplished a life-long dream this year and published my first book, Planetary Feedlot. The feeling I got when I got that first paperback was like a kid on Christmas.
- SOMEONE BOUGHT MY BOOK! Enough said.
- My health. I have suffered for most of my life with chronic fatigue/ache issues along with some others that most doctors just looked at and shrugged their shoulders. I even had one say “that’s just how you are, what do you want me to do about it?” This year however I found not one but two practitioners who unlocked my issues. One was a severe mold toxicity issue that was creating systemic inflammation through my system (FYI inflammation is BAD). I also was hypothyroid, although I’m happy to state that treating the mold toxicity has helped that issue so that I don’t have to take medication for it. I also was diagnosed as hypermobile, which explained a lot of my muscle and joint pain. I was introduced to an alternative treatment called FSM (Frequency Specific Microcurrents) that has helped me heal a lot of the inflammation and scarring that resulted from the inflammation. All of this also helped the IBS that I’ve suffered with since a teen. At the start of this year, I was a mess. Now, I feel not just human, not just surviving day to day, I’m living my healthiest life. My brain fog has cleared, I enjoy exercising for the first time in my life, and my body isn’t constantly at war with itself. I still have a ways to go and some things may never 100% clear up, but I honestly feel for the first time in my life that I am in charge of my life, not my life being led by my medical issues.
- My job. I LOVE being a Technical Writer as my ‘day job’. What is that, you may ask? Technical Writers are many things, but I specialize in catalog copy. I create bullets of features of products highlighting what makes them amazing, why you need them, and also things to watch out for or models this product may not work with. I write them in a creative but concise way, create tables with info, and work with designers to make it appealing to customers. And I love it. Piecing information together is like working on a logic problem. I enjoy getting to use both my analytical organizational skills along with my creative ones with my fiction writing. One day I’ll probably do a blog about it. But I’m thankful I have both sides because it feeds both parts of me.
- My degree. Okay, so I hate I had to go back to school at 36 to get a piece of paper to tell people that I had the skills to write words down on a page. But I love the extra knowledge I got while I was there. The program I did taught not only writing, but design as well. I learned programs to create book covers, flyers, brochures, and magazines. I learned how to animate short videos and make animated business cards, movie intros, and advertisements. These skills not only excite the artistic side of me, they are so handy now that I am self-publishing and as a consequence, also self marketing. Also, going through the honors system and producing a thesis not only taught me that I really love research, but I can produce written works that other people want to read. Could I have learned these things without the degree? Probably. Do I regret going back to college? Not one day.
- My passions. I have a lot of things I like to do and a lot of things that drive my soul. The first is my creativity; I love anything having to do with art and I love learning new techniques for that art. Just this year I took a pottery class, learned how to make lanyard tethers for our kill-switches on our bikes, created my own book cover and advertisements for the book, learned how to do digital paintings and wrote a book (have I mentioned that yet? Wink). I also love trials riding with my boyfriend, and I also did horseback riding. I got into gardening and growing plants. I do a lot of cooking and have been having fun creating new recipes. All of it comes together to feed my creative side which inspires to do more creative things. Like writing more books.
- Understanding my spiritual side. So, this may be a little weird to people and I normally don’t like talking religion because people get SO upset if you believe something different from them. But I feel it is important to talk about why I’m thankful for my spirit this year. You see, when I was growing up I always loved connecting to the earth. Connecting to animals. I loved nothing better than just spending hours sitting outside and watching. Watching the deer grazing in the pasture. Watching the birds in the trees. Watching the storms roll in over the horizon. I felt very connected to what little I knew about earth religions, wiccans/druids/indigenous people/etc. Not that I wanted to copy those religions, just that I felt very connected to that idea of animal spirits and earth energy. Acceptance of life and death, acceptance of those properties which makes us all different, but celebrating that we are all in the same cycles of life and energy. However, in my teens my family started going to church where anything ‘woo-woo’ was taboo. Not just taboo, but evil. Extremely evil. Send you burning for eternity in hell evil. For an insecure kid who already is super-confused by hormones and then adding undiagnosed anxiety and depression to suddenly be told that a part of you is not just wrong but EVIL, well, its a doozy. And it messed me up for a very long time. But over the years I started reconnecting with that part of myself. But I would still feel shame talking to other people about it. Like it was some secret. But this year I came to understand something. There is religion and then there is faith. Religion is how people tell you to connect with the universe. Faith is finding how you connect with the universe. And while religions can argue about who’s right and wrong, faith is never wrong at least to me. It’s how you connect to you, how you connect to the universe. It is how you find hope, confidence, love and joy. And however you do that, whomever you pray to (or not), whatever/whomever you find strength in, it does not matter what one other person thinks. And that’s what I realized. I believe in connecting to the earth. To a universal energy that science can’t explain. I talk to the animal spirits, the spirits of the earth and trees. I meditate, do yoga, and work on my chakras. It makes me feel balanced. It makes me feel connected. It makes me feel happy. Not your cup of tea? Cool. But its mine. And I’m done being ashamed about that, which I’m very thankful for.
There’s a lot of other things I’m thankful for, but these are the big ones. Some are big accomplishments, some are realizations of gifts I’ve had all along, some are realizations that have brought me peace and harmony.
What are you thankful for? I hope its a long list.
Here’s to another year of great things to be thankful for!