Be Thankful Challenge


As my regular readers know, I don’t do a lot of regular “blogging” on this blog. I mostly only post stories, and I like it that way. But this challenge is a good one, and worth taking a little break from my normal blog for. Too often, especially lately, I get caught up in what I don’t have and what isn’t working. It’s good to be reminded to stop, assess, and remember what is good in life. A big thank you to Millie Thom for sending me this challenge!

Now for the Rules:

* Share this image (top one) in your blog post
* Write about 5 people in your life you are thankful for
* Write about 5 things in 2015 that you are thankful for
* Spread the love and challenge 5 other blogs to take part 

Five people I’m thankful for in 2015 are:

1. My sister April, who is so sweet and kind and perpetually cheerful that I sometimes think she should have been named Joy instead of me. I am always happy to have her in my life, but especially recently. I’ve been struggling with some financial problems and she has been spontaneously and very generously helpful, in that “no guilt, no strings attached” way that one wishes all families could always be.

2. My former colleague Stu, a dear man who continues to be an invaluable mentor to me despite retiring and moving across the state. If it weren’t for him, I would never have made it this far in my new career move. The only downside to having worked with Stu is that he’s set the bar so high!

3. My good friend Susan, who is my constant companion at numerous Shakespeare in the Park plays, classical concerts, and various other adventures all year long. She’s also someone I can always count on to more than pull her weight in the dish-to-share department—boy, do we eat well at those Shakespeare picnics! This year she even came to the county fair with me, although she tagged in her teenaged daughter to join me for the wild carnival rides part of the afternoon.

4. All the members of my two writers critique groups, but especially Sue, who consistently gives me excellent feedback about plot and character. The other writers have helped me clean up many pragmatic aspects of my writing style over the last year and a half, but without someone who can fully engage with and discuss the content, the best grammar and punctuation and word choice gets you nowhere.

5. Everyone who’s helped and encouraged me with this blog, especially all the other bloggers that I’ve met since I started four months ago. Your likes and comments mean the world to me, and I’m so appreciative that you take the time to read and leave feedback.

Five things I’m thankful for in 2015:

1. I’m thankful that my beloved cat Nyx is still alive. At the beginning of the year, Nyx was very ill. Even though she was only two years old, her kidneys were severely damaged and she was losing a lot of weight. I thought she had weeks to live, then perhaps months. But after dogged persistence and care (and only losing my patience a few (hundred) times), I finally got her eating back on track and her weight loss to slow and even reverse. Now she’s regained some weight and stabilized, and for the time being seems (if you don’t look at the ultrasounds or blood tests) to be a perfectly healthy and happy cat.

2. I’m thankful for a year of reasonably good health for me and my family—my parents, my sister, and her husband. After a long spate of unrelated and unusual health problems, going for a whole year without surgery is a welcome change for me. To give you an idea: for a last-minute costume last Halloween, I dressed as a surgical patient, because I didn’t need anything other than the various braces, crutches, eye patches, and bandages from my own recent experiences. It was an incredibly uncomfortable costume though; I would not recommend it!

3. I’m thankful that I live someplace that offers such wonderful free concerts and plays in the park, and where I can walk to work and just about anywhere I need to go, all year round.

4. This may sound like a shill, but I’m thankful that WordPress gives me a free option for hosting my blog here, and offers wonderful help like the free Blogging 101 class I took last month. If I’d had to pay to invest in trying this new thing, I don’t know how long I might have put it off, waiting to somehow feel certain that it would work.

5. Finally, in the broader context, I am thankful that same-sex marriage finally became legal in my country (the US) this year. I am thrilled on behalf of my LGBT friends, that their unions are recognized as they should be, and personally happy to be part of a world taking one step closer to social equality and civil rights and love for all.

And a thousand other things as well. It’s easy to focus on the myriad losses and pains and mistakes and frustrations, but overall, I know I am incredibly lucky to live this life.

These are my five nominees:

I chose these five people because I am thankful to each one of them. And to many more—it was hard to choose just five!

To my readers—if you haven’t visited these blogs before, I highly recommend that you do.

To the nominees—whether you’ve commented on my blog many times or don’t even recognize my name, I’ve been encouraged and inspired by you and your blog, and wanted to let you know that you’re making a difference. I know not everyone participates in this kind of writing challenge, or maybe you’d like to write the thankful post but not pass it onto others, which is fine in my book. Either way, please accept my BIG THANKS.

To everyone—take a minute, right now, to think about what you’re thankful for. If you’re feeling too stressed out and busy and dissatisfied with your life to do that, well, that’s exactly the right time to stop and remember what IS right and wonderful and beautiful in your life.

Warm wishes to all of you!


19 thoughts on “Be Thankful Challenge

  1. I really enjoyed reading your responses, Joy. You are right about it being too easy to dwell on the negative. I certainly agree with Number 5 in the ‘things’ you are thankful for. Recognitiopn and acceptance of same-sex marriage is essential, and as normal a part of life as any heterosexual marriage. Thank you for accepting the challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Millie. It was an interesting post to write. I debated including same-sex marriage on my list, because I don’t want to get political here—that’s not the purpose of this blog. But it’s such an important landmark issue for advancing human equality, one that we’ve been fighting for and hoping for for so long, I feel like it’s the 19th Amendment or the Civil Rights Act of my time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I felt the same as you about talking about fox hunting. It’s a big issue over here, and many in the farming community will be wantint it back! But same sex marriage can’t/shouldn’t be illegal in this day and age. You have the right to have your opinion, as I have mine. I respect to for airing yours . 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Joy! Thank you so much for selecting Me-n-TBP to “pass it forward!” I put a lot of thought into the prompts, so I’m genuinely touched to receive your little random act of kindness. Since I don’t post to my personal blog any longer, I’m going to work your challenge into a Tues Truthiness prompt. Stay tuned!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great post to be included in! I enjoyed reading your answers and getting to know you a little better. Adding gay marriage to your list was a wonderful thought. You know, my mom was among the first to marry her partner, in Canada. That was thirteen years ago, I think. We were all very excited when the US won the right.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Happy to include you! Canada is definitely ahead of the U.S. in many ways! I’m glad for your mother that she was living there and not here thirteen years ago. Many of my gay friends were already married before this year, in states that allowed it earlier, but what a mess when you move and your new state doesn’t recognize your marriage. Not to mention all those federal benefits. Very exciting all around!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Even then she had to be married in Ontario, as it still wasn’t legal in Manitoba. It is great to see equality taking shape in front of our very eyes. I can’t believe how quickly times have changed, even in my lifetime. Great post. Till next time!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Be Thankful Challenge | BEAUTIFUL WORDS

  5. It was nice to read a reminder to be thankful at a time of year where it isn’t pre-programmed, like Thanksgiving. It is a good habit that should be encouraged, and while I am sitting here grumbling about my non-functional microwave, I am trying to be grudgingly thankful for the fact it is still under warranty. But cold, leftover stuffed peppers just aren’t the same.


    • Thanks, I feel the same way about “required” gratitude at Thanksgiving, but this felt right to me.

      Sorry to hear about your microwave. I hate it when appliances refuse to obey my commands, in the kitchen most of all. Cold stuffed peppers do not sound appetizing, I agree. At the risk of shifting my blog into a cooking channel (always a risk with me), have you tried reheating them in the oven?

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are apparently a much more patient person than I am. When hunger strikes, I strike back with a swift and sure fork, regardless of optimal food temperature. (This might explain the several bouts of food poisoning I have suffered in life, now that I think about it.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • The funny coincidence is that as I was just reading your comment, I was eating a reheated quesadilla and thinking that it wasn’t really quite hot enough, and wondering if I was too lazy to pop it back in the toaster oven. When you mentioned food poisoning, I decided to get up and give it a little more oven time. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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