My husband and I have been planning a 10-day trip to New England (Boston and Portland, ME) for the past couple of months. It was going to be our first vacation in three years. Last night, we decided to cancel it.
It’s been a difficult year financially. There have been some major health issues in my family, a slowdown in nonfiction publishing, and some of those out-of-left-field events that make you look up at the sky and say, “Why me?”—like the freak rainstorm that hit my area two weeks ago and dumped four inches of rain in six hours, flooding the basements of some properties we own and costing us $2,000 for the clean-up. You wake up in the morning thinking, “Huh. Looks like it might rain,” and go to bed that night thinking, “How are we going to pay for this?”
But that’s life. And the purpose of this post isn’t to complain (even though that’s all I’ve done so far). Instead of feeling trapped in a cycle where things keep going wrong, I’d like to take a broader look at the things I appreciate, do a sort of early Thanksgiving survey. So here are some blessings I’m counting:
- Although the health issues persist, they’ve improved from what they were a year ago.
- My own health is great.
- Work has slowed down, but we’ve got work.
- Although issues do come up with our rental properties, we’ve got those properties and some day, they’ll enable us to retire. (We’re both self-employed, so we had to come up with our own retirement plan.)
- Deadtown sold well for a debut novel (thanks to all who bought it!), and I get to continue the series.
- I did take several short trips this year, mostly to SF/F cons, and I chose events that let me visit family at the same time.
- My current nonfiction project has a tight deadline, and staying home will give me some breathing room there. (OK, that one’s kinda lame, but it does make me feel a bit better.)
- I’ve got a loving, supportive husband.
- I’ve got an amazing daughter of whom I’m inexpressibly proud.
- Deadtown‘s release was a dream come true for me. And through it, I’ve met readers and other writers and made some really good friends.
- I like my new haircut! (I’ll post pictures one of these days…)
OK, that’s a start. I’m not trying to be some Pollyanna who refuses to acknowledge the problems staring me in the face. But I believe that shifting your focus from things that are going wrong to things that are going right opens life up. If all you ever see is the bad stuff, then life sucks. If you look for the good stuff—things that are going right, things you appreciate—there’s room for happiness.
Besides, a friend and I decided in a Facebook conversation yesterday that Pollyanna was actually a secret supervillain presiding over a team of fake goody-goodies that included Little Lord Fauntleroy (trained assassin), Little Nell (evil femme fatale), and Winnie the Pooh (don’t accept any sweets from THIS bear).