I'm a couple of days late, but that's to be expected from me.
But before this season of thanks completely passes by, I wanted to say a few words of gratitude.
I am thankful, of course, for my health, and that of my family and friends. I am thankful to be surrounded by such beautiful people, my children and my husband in particular, and the concentric circles of loved ones around us, whether they are physically near or far. I am thankful for the food on our table, the roof over our head, the muggy warm November New Orleans weather, and the chance for a few empty minutes to sit and contemplate how blessed I am.
And this year, I am thankful to have the opportunity to spend my time and energy on the thing I love to do most: writing. Editing, reviewing, reading, supporting other writers, building and participating in writing communities--they are of a piece to me, and for the past several months I have been devoting my time and energy to the pursuit of the word.
The muse and I are getting down and boogieing.
Last year, and the previous year, and the years before that (though interspersed with stay-at-home-mothering) I had jobs, the kind where you go to an office and wear sensible shoes and answer the phone and get things done for other people. But when my job began to take over my life, and I realized that I was no longer doing what brought me joy and I felt like I was shriveling up and my health was beginning to suffer, I knew I needed something else.
And then, because of the generosity of my family, particularly my in-laws, an elderly relative's passing became a moderate largess for us. My husband's grandfather, Ammon, always encouraged and supported my writing, and when he passed on at the age of 100, the money he left behind has allowed me to quit my job and focus on building a writing career.
For that, I can barely conjure words to describe the mixture of joy and, I must admit, shame, that I have been offered this opportunity. It's a gift; it's a burden. Now it's my responsibility to make something happen, not to waste these golden hours devoted to writing.
So I want to express my gratitude, to put it out there publicly that I am aware of how lucky and privileged I am, and it humbles me. It also motivates me. Money does not last forever, and unless I make this work, become a paid, card-carrying Writer, I will have to find another office job. Which is not the end of the world. As long as I am able to keep writing.
Let's boogie, Calliope!