My annual moment of giving thanks usually comes silently and without flourish.
I don't write about it or share anything on Facebook. I rarely post any family pictures or photos of dinner to social media. I never do the 30-day Gratitude Challenge or challenges like it.
I do feel thankful, however.
I think about the word gratitude right before enthusiastically digging into my turkey.
I feel it in the drowsy comfort of a warm house and a movie on the couch after enjoying a hot meal with family.
I believe in it as I decorate my Christmas tree and remember it again after watching It's a Wonderful Life for the millionth time (it never gets old).
And even though I'm a writer, I usually never write about any of those moments or feelings. In many ways, I'm scared to dilute their meaning by relegating them to words. Everyone knows what a holiday feels like, so trying to articulate its meaning makes it corny at best and meaningless at worst.
This year, however, I feel obligated to write, not only because this is the first year that I have this blog, but also because I am overwhelmed by the feeling that this year has been a blessing:
1. My mother is healthy again-- or at least recovering well--from her unexpected open heart surgery this past August.
2. I'm able to celebrate another Thanksgiving with my 94-year-old grandmother.
3. This year I finally started to share my writing and have been lucky to see some success on Medium. One piece even made it to ThoughtCatalog, Business Insider, and the Daily Muse. Some goals I didn't quite reach, like getting published in a literary magazine and finishing my own book, but I know nothing happens overnight and I'm okay with that. I'm enjoying the process.
4. I have work and my health.
5. I'm grateful to have a loving family, including my boyfriend, parents and the kind of pet you will talk about long after he's gone.
6. The year was filled with small, beautiful moments, including hikes, coffees/dinners with friends and a summer vacation at the beach. In every year there are also lonely, sad and stressful moments. It's not all rainbows. It never is, but I am thankful for the darker moments, too.
7. I found the confidence this year to share my words by starting this blog. I'm humbled to be able to connect with other writers like you, not only through my posts, but also through our online writing meet-ups. It's usually pretty tough to internalize feedback on your writing when it's so close to your heart and you've spent a lot of time editing already, but I was floored by the quality and the consistency of the comments I received on my own submitted pieces. If one of my group members is reading this, thank you. MB, if you are reading this, thank you for giving me the push I needed even though I was a stranger!
So yes, now I have written a post filled with gratitude and words I can come back to. What are the moments you will come back to when you look back on the year? When you look back on this year ten years from today? What are you thankful for?
Comment or share your own "thankful" blog post link below, if you have one.
Lastly, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a member of The Curious Cat Project community, and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!