As we come to the end of the year, and the beginning of the holiday season, I've realized I need to stop and truly be thankful. Not just because it's Thanksgiving Day, but because there are many blessings in my life that I should recognize. And believe me, that's hard for me to do right now.
This year has been tough. I lost my job in April, due to a mismanaged business that was failing and eventually went bankrupt. I didn't plan for it and with no notice, I was out of a job. Being the main breadwinner, this had devastating consequences on my family. I filed for unemployment and learned firsthand how ineffective and inadequate that whole system is. But the worst was yet to come.
Because I remained unemployed for six months. That may not seem like a lot of time in the grand scheme of things, but to me it was stunning. It represented six car payments, house payments, and insurances, on two cars. It was six phone bills and six gas and electric bills and for the first time ever, we got delinquent notices and notices advising us we were close to disconnection. It was illuminating. And humiliating.
I'm happy to say I am employed now, but I make almost $30k less than I used to. And my family has learned how to live on that. I don't want to say I am thankful for losing my job and being placed in that tenuous position, but I am grateful for the lessons I learned.
So today, on this day of thanks, I want to be specific in those things I am grateful to have.
I am grateful to be employed, to have somewhere to go every day where I am reminded of my worth, my value, and my contribution. I am grateful to be a mother of the most wonderful children on earth who are way too young to be concerned about our family's finances, but who still understand why they can't have new things. I love you so much, babies. I give thanks for my husband, and the life we have lived together for twelve years. I hope he knows how much I love him.
I am grateful for the gift I have for writing, and weaving worlds others want to enjoy. I am grateful every time a reader tells me how I have transported them and how much they enjoyed something I wrote. I am grateful I sit in front of my laptop and still have ideas flood my head every day.
And even though I am not with my family for this Thanksgiving day because I am working, I am thankful that unlike millions of people, I will, eventually, sit down to a meal prepared by my family with love, warmed up on a plate my husband will assure I have. And for that I am truly grateful.
Most of all, I am grateful for what I don't know yet, and that is what the future holds. I'm excited by all the possibilities I have in life still, and that this new year coming could be the start of something amazing. Life is a wondrous, precious thing, and today, I am grateful to be living it. I hope you are too.
So, Happy Thanksgiving to my loving family, immediate and extended, and my wonderful friends in life and on Facebook and Twitter. I hope you enjoy each other's company today. And give thanks for everything you have. I wish you all the best for this season of thanks.