What I’m Grateful For This Year (And Why I’ve Been MIA)

This year has been a doozy, with an onslaught of family emergencies, health issues, and other crises.  Even still, I’m so incredibly grateful for so much–and what better time than Thanksgiving weekend to share why?

But first, a note: why have I been away from the blog these past few weeks?  Well, for a few reasons.

First and foremost, my mom (who, longtime readers may know, is also my best friend) was recently and unexpectedly hospitalised with a serious health issue.  Fortunately, she’s home and on the mend, though with a long road ahead.

Between that, some work changes, and some lesser health issues of my own, things have been pretty rough.  And I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve struggled with it an awful lot.

That’s part of why I wanted to write this post:  despite everything, I’ve realised I have so, so much to be grateful for. And, for that, too, I’m grateful.

The basics

Something I always try to be conscious of is just how fortunate I am to have the things we so often take for granted: food, clean water, shelter.  I’ve gone through my share of hard times, but I’m grateful to have had some sort of all three through it all.

Animals

This is pretty all-inclusive (and a big part of why I’m vegan).  Of course, special mention goes to my ESA, Fitz, and my family’s other pets!

Books

My fifth book of poetry will be coming out this coming spring (how??) and each one has brought me so much joy.  Even more so, though? Books written by others.  Between those I’ve had the pleasure to work with through Nightingale & Sparrow, those I’ve gotten the chance to review on Pencils & Pages, and those I’ve read just because, books have been a sort of life preserver through the chaos that is life.  Words are a powerful source of comfort for me and I’m lucky enough to have access to more than I may ever be able to read!

Friends

I don’t have many “in real life” friends these days, and those that I do have live at too far a distance to visit often.  I’ve had some periods of loneliness because of this, but something’s become clear through this year’s struggles.  The online friends I’ve come to know are just as real and just as important.  I shared a little bit about my mom’s health struggles on my writing Twitter (and, occasionally, some of my own) and the support I received from people I’ve never met in person absolutely blew me away.  I’ve never really had a community like that and I can’t thank them enough for something as simple as a quick message checking in–it really meant the world.

Family

I have far from a perfect relationship with my family as a whole but, especially in light of Mom’s recent health issues, I’m grateful for them–and for her especially.  They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, but with my closest and most beloved family members, I know all too well. And, even still, the thought of losing someone so close to you makes that gratitude even stronger.

These are just a few of the things I’m most grateful for in 2019, but some of the most important.  I’ve got so much more to be grateful for, and I’m trying to get better and keeping those in mind.  Here’s to more to come through 2019’s end and the new year!

What are you grateful for this year?

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