Monday, October 13, 2014

Count Your Blessings

For the past week I have been on vacation, or what some would call a “staycation.” I’m not travelling about, not rushing around to do this or to do that. I am taking this time to do the things that I love to do. That means that I’m writing a new novel. Catching up on some of my reading. Running two to three times a week. Taking a culinary journey through France, Ireland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. I am also trying to rest.

What this all means is that I’m:

Loving Life. You see, we live in an age where it seems like it’s not just easier, but more the norm, to criticize, deconstruct, than to try to build something up, attempt to see a silver lining. It takes a lot of energy to be negative all the time. It almost becomes a state of mind, and it is, quite frankly, unattractive. Maybe that’s why I do my best to lead a positive life. I smile and laugh a lot, which seems to be contagious. I guess I’ve learned to not take myself, and life, too seriously but to try and simply enjoy the journey. Climbing up the mountains or wading through the valleys, I remind myself of the blessings in my life — my partner, family and friends, my job, my writing and other artistic endeavours. I try to focus on what really matters to me, and that, in turn, allows me to see the beauty that is this world.

Doing what it is that I love to do. My day job pays the bills, puts food on my table and shelter over my head. But it is my writing that makes my heart sing. So each and every day, no matter where I find myself in the world, I write. It keeps me focused. When I’m writing, be it a short story, novel or essay, I know (as my good friend Adrienne reminded me) that I’m doing my best to “stay grounded in your conviction that you're doing what you want to do and feel called to do.”

Grateful. On this Thanksgiving Monday (here in Canada), I am grateful for my friends and family who support and encourage me in all that I do. I am grateful for my health. I am grateful for the love overflowing in my life. I am grateful that I have the courage to be true to myself, to be comfortable with the man I have become.

As Melody Beattie reminds us, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

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