This is the time of year that most Americans think through all that they have to be grateful for. I am no different.
Thanksgiving is Thursday here, and with it typically comes good food, family and friends, and lots of things to be thankful for. While I may be sitting out on most of that this year, I definitely have a lot to be grateful for.
While my health is often a bone of contention for me, as chronic illnesses limit what I can do each day – and fear of them can limit me even further – they aren’t at their worst. I’ve reached a point in my life where I can do things in spite of my chronic illnesses, and not necessarily land on my ass for three days anymore. Thanks to medication and other things, I’m in a bit of a fallow period with them, and I land on my ass less and less as time goes by. Of
Which allows me to bring in an income, and not starve to death on my SSDI and food stamps. It also gives my disabled ass something of a social life. The fact that I can write and publish without leaving my home is a dream come true. Never mind the contacts I’m building that I never would have been able to pre-internet. It makes writing a little less lonely, especially when the voices in my head are on strike.
Which allows me to grow my business slowly and think more about long-term success and not short-term success. It isn’t much, but it pays the bills every month. And it allows me to practice self-care when I’m sick, instead of panicking about money. Granted, I still do that, due to you know, poverty, but it could always be worse. I’ve lived without any incoming funds, and I never want to do that again. I wouldn’t have survived without my family, that’s for damn sure.
I’m sure I can think of a million other things to be grateful for, but those are the big ones right now.
Gratitude is so important to remain a healthy creative, especially as we tend to be extremely sensitive to what’s going on around us. And frankly, the last few years have thrown us through the wringer. But it’s times like these that we really need to focus on what we can be grateful for, as it adds resilience to the crazy-making news cycles and other events. You can’t give from an empty cup, after all.
Keep a gratitude journal and try to write down at least three things you have to be grateful for every day. They can be anything you want them to be, even if you can only think of things like breathing – that’s okay. Every day, week, month and year will be different, and it will help you maintain a positive attitude – which might be just what you need to keep going.
Do you keep a gratitude journal? How has it helped you? If not, why not?