As we approach Thanksgiving, I often realize that I do not give enough thanks for the things in life that I am grateful for. It is often hard for us to focus on these positive things when life is so hard. 2020, in particular, has brought a pandemic and even more political divide for the US. In our personal lives, we are all struggling. I don't know about you, but we were handed financial cuts to our income, a forced house renovation due to a major destructive leak, and helped our disabled child navigate school on and off line. I also had to teach online and in-person simultaneously to classes that add up to 80 college students, many also struggling like my son and the rest of the world. It was a drain on our energy and time, twice as much work as what we were accustomed to. When it is safe, go hug a teacher. Go hug a student. Particularly, go hug those on the front lines fighting this virus.
With all my troubles, and yours dear reader, we should take the time to focus on what we are thankful for. I am thankful for (in no order whatsoever):
- My family who have supported me, believed in me, and have taken things off my plate when I literally had no time to do them (looking at you, Mom)
- My husband who runs the roost and is the best "houseman" despite also working. You take up my slack in the times I'm overwhelmed, just as I take over in the summer. We are a damn good team.
- My son for being so creative and loving life, merely being happy with my presence and not demanding of my attention all of the time. We have our special times and routines, but otherwise you are independent and brilliant.
- My friends who can go months without speaking and still pick up where we left off. You are patient with my poor communication and times I disappear off the grid.
- Particularly for Stewart and Kelly who are our best friends despite being thousands of miles and an ocean away. During this pandemic our video chats have been the social pick-me-ups we desperately needed.
- To my colleagues for supporting me with kind words no matter the issue and keeping things light if and when we have crossed paths in such a sterile, distant, and quiet environment. And for those I don't see except online, I still see you and am with you.
- To my students, even through the times all of us were frustrated, I thank you for trying your best, working hard, and staying attentive. I am thankful for those who demanded my extra time and help because it showed you were fully vested in your future. Know that this will be the hardest year of school in your college career. We'll get through this and we will persevere.
- To my publishers Authors4Authors who support me and make me confident that even if I cannot give them my best work due to lack of time, they still see the greatness in my writing. They patiently move their schedule around when I give up a publishing slot, then again when I decide to dust off another series I wrote and revise it for the future--oh, and insert that companion novel. No matter how scattered I am, they go with the flow and I'm excited of the future we'll have.
- To all my hardships in life that I won't get into here. Sounds weird to thank hardships but without them, I would not be the strong, opinionated, resilient woman that I am today. I know that getting through them that I can get through almost anything... even a pandemic.