Thanksgiving is the time of year where we all kind of take a moment to gather with family and friends and take time to really think about what you’re thankful for in your life. In 2009, I spent Thanksgiving in Iraq and I really got to think about what I was thankful for. If you’re interested, you can read that Thanksgiving day post here.
Anyway, being home and having not deployed for a while, sometimes, you get a little further removed from the little things in daily life that make a huge difference. Something as little as having a real toilet can really turn a day around, you know? And I distinctly remember getting to Mosul and thanking the Army Engineers for real showers and hot water.
This year has had its ups and downs for sure. My husband is still in Iraq finishing out his 4th combat tour. Don’t let anyone tell you that combat is over. It’s not and the war won’t be done until the last of our men and women is happily on their way home. But I’m thankful that he’s okay and that he still has hot chow, at least for a little while longer until the cooks head home.
The hard part about writing isn’t putting the words on the page. It’s learning to kill the words that don’t work, it’s learning to cut a character that isn’t contributing. So I’m thankful, honest to God, for every rejection I ever received. I’m thankful that no one said yes before the books were ready. And I’m thankful that every time I got a rejection, I may have moped and whined for a little while, but eventually, I sat my happy little butt, (relatively speaking) back in the chair and tried to get better.
Writing is an emotional journey. Rejection is part of it. Learning to deal with rejection without losing faith and giving up? I’m really thankful for that. I’m thankful for the people who let me cry on their shoulders. I’m thankful for the authors who have put their reputations on the line to help promote Because of You. I’m so, so thankful for the readers who have taken the time to tell me how much Because of You has meant to them. And I’m thankful for the real friends who were there before I sold and who are still there now, cheering me on.
My battalion commander likes to say she’s had a lot of good fortune in her life. But you know, she’s on the money when she says “my bag of gold is so heavy”. She’s not talking about material good fortune but it’s a reminder that hey, sometimes things aren’t so hot, but at the end of the day, we’ve got a lot of things to be grateful for in our lives. So even though my husband is still in Iraq this year and it’s another holiday apart, he’ll be home soon. And I’m thankful for so very much. Enjoy your holidays!
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