11.24.2016

A Grateful Heart

This week has been a real up and down of a shit show, and it's only Thursday at that. Tomorrow is one of the busiest days of the year for my team. A team that supports a nationwide retail chain of computer and electronics stores.  The second busiest day, if you're wondering, is a toss up between Summerween and Jayne Day.

But today, my friends, is a day when people all around our great country post what they're thankful for on Social Media for a day before going back to posting about cats and dicks, er politics,  and recipes.

This day of giving thanks also happens to coincide with the anniversary of the day I fell in to this world, in this particular meat sack.

And I have to be honest, I wasn't really sure how the day would play out.

You see, I finished my first draft last night. My first draft of my first real big-boy book.  Finished. As in, typed "The End."

And then by daughter dropped off a six of one of my favorite beers (New Belgium's Snapshot) as an early birthday present.

Today's my birthday.

I woke up this morning about 5 AM. Still riding the euphoria of finishing the first draft.

And then (cue trombones making 'wonh, wonh' sound), I had to remote in to work. Our office is closed. Our stores are closed. My building is locked. But we still have processing to do in order to make sure that the company is ready for Black Friday (which is tomorrow).

That's a busy day for us.

But that's tomorrow.

Today I worked until about 1. I got cleaned up and headed over to my parents' for Thanksgiving.  I asked earlier in the week if I could bring anything and was told not to, since it was my birthday, I just had to come over and eat and celebrate.  So that was the plan.  (I later learned that my brother was slightly bummed that I didn't bring the White Castle stuffing).

I showed up. I ate. I celebrated. My family was there. It was pretty groovy. I ate way too much and almost didn't save room for the Miracle Whip cake (which...is probably the most amazing chocolate cake you will ever eat). But I powered through.

And then when the festivities die down a bit, Dad pulls me to the side and tells me some news about the Farm. The Farm which is pretty much the center of my soul.  And it was pretty amazing news. I'm not going to go in to too many details here until things are fully squared, but needless to say, I was speechless. There were tears in my eyes. Tears in my Dad's eyes. It was pretty amazing.

So...here's the thing with it that got me thinking.  Sure, it's been a titty-twister of a jacked up week, but there have been some amazing things that have happened to me recently.

And the ones that have touched me the deepest are the ones I never saw coming in a million years.

I look at my friends. I look at the people whom I hold dearly in my heart. I look at my family.  I look at each and every 'happy birthday' that over 120 people posted to my wall on Facebook today and I can only think one thing.

How the fuck did I get so lucky? What the fuck did I do to deserve all of this amazingness in my life?

Ok...technically, that's two things. But if I'm being honest, they are hyphenated thoughts.

I look at the 'The End' that I put on a story last night and think of the people who helped me get there. Sure, I did the heavy lifting,  but it is a completely fair and valid statement to say that I wouldn't have made it nearly as far as I did without the support network.

And for that I am truly grateful.

Therein lies the key. The grateful heart.  When I stress about shit. Or start overthinking the fuck out of things (as I am wont to do), I try to shift to the things in my life that I'm truly grateful for.

And when I start making that list, it's huge.

If you're here reading this, I'm grateful for you. by reading this and maybe sharing it yourself, you are helping me fulfill a dream. I am a writer. I am a poet.  I would write anyway, make no mistake about that, but the fact that I can write knowing that someone will be reading it, and might find something inspiring between the lines is pretty awesome.

The fact that I finished a draft of a novel is something I'm grateful for.

The fact that I'm still writing in spite of that because I want to win at NaNoWriMo is something I am grateful for. And that I have not just one, but two groups standing behind / beside me as I do so is completely rad to me.

I could ramble on, but I'm going to go wallow in this tryptophan glaze for a bit.

Happy Thanksgiving my friends!

-A.T.

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