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Friday, December 13, 2013

Grateful

Photo: en.wikipedia.org
Yes, I know the photo is of "grapefruit" and has nothing whatsoever to do with being "grateful", but it's a device. "Grateful" is one of those words I habitually misspell (I want it to be "greatful", which is like "grateful", but with aspirations) and the word "grapefruit" is how I remember to spell it correctly. Just work with me here. Trust me, it's a good device, and furthermore I couldn't find a single photo of "grateful". But I digress...

As always this time of year, I'm struggling to maintain a cheerful demeanor.  I love the season, but it's incredibly painful too. Last year was okay because our mom visited from Florida between Thanksgiving and Christmas and it really took the sting out of it, but it's back to the crushing longing for home and family this year. Oh, I have a place to live. But a place to live and home are two very different things. If you don't know the difference, you can consider yourself a very lucky individual. I haven't been "home" for a very, very long time. No visit from the parental units this year, so it's back to Koto's for a Japanese Christmas for us.

Okay, well, this can go one of two ways: I can succumb and just melt into a pile of gelatinous goo until after the new year (tempting!), or I can take a long hard look at all of the things the past year has given me, the pretty terrific people in my life, and the things I have to look forward to, none of which are dependent on having a magical holiday. I think I'll take what's behind door #2.

I've had a pretty incredible year. I had my book published, at long last. The way it happened was pretty cool too; the right opportunity came up at exactly the moment I was ready to go. How often does that happen? And the feedback has been pretty awesome! I think most writers have moments of doubt. I know I had more than a few days of thinking that everything I wrote that day was useless garbage. Most often, the next day it all seemed okay, but in the moment I was convinced that every word sucked. The reviews have been pretty great too. So far, so good, and if I get a bad review I can handle it because of all the great ones I have to fall back on. I even had my picture in the local paper, which was a pretty neat experience too :-)

The thing I am most grateful for though (and considering what an anti-social being I am it may come as a shock) is all the people who have supported me and buoyed me to where I am now. I have a long way to go yet, and it's my own initiative that I need to rely on for that, but I am overwhelmed by how many people supported me through this journey thus far: friends, family (mostly) and even complete strangers have been there, promoting, encouraging, buying my book, liking my fan page, and generally just being THERE. It's meant the world to me, and I'm still in awe. I've become very used to "Little Red Hen-ing" it (please note there is no political nonsense implied by this statement) for the most part and with rare exception, so the overwhelming support and positive feedback has been...just wow.

THAT will be my focus. Yup, I'm still going to feel sad. But I'm so grateful to have had (and to have) people in my life who were/are so amazing that it hurts this badly to miss them. I am grateful to have hope for the future, to know what "home" really means, and know that someday in the not-too-distant future I will finally be able to put down roots again and feel like I'm home. It's what I'm working my derriere off for!

So THANK YOU, dear folks, for helping this lumpy, middle-aged Weeble along her path. My gratitude is sincerely eternal:-)

On that mushy note, I leave you with a mushy video (I've become a video embedding MACHINE). It's a song that makes me cry because it reminds me so much of my dear grandfather and his wonderful tenor voice, but it's a good memory, and it means Christmas to me:



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