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November 25, 2009

Happy Thanking Day!

Happy Thanksgiving! And day-before-Thanksgiving! Especially to the servicemen and women who read from half a world away.... I don't know how you put on fatigues each day a million miles away from home and do your work and still find the muster to endure yet more blabbering about my exciting life (cat poop! gardening trauma! the great and ongoing discussion of whether or not I should wear bangs!) but I appreciate my readers in uniform and thank you for checking in and emailing and for doing a job I'm too chicken to do but appreciate more than I can say.

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Lately I have spent a ridiculous amount of time feeling anxiety over the next book and all which that entails, and even though I know it's a high-class problem to have and all that, there is still anxiety, a sucking pit of acid pooling in my stomach. It reminds me that all change (even good change) can cause stress. I've never been one who thinks that just because someone somewhere else has it worse your problems should miraculously vanish or become unimportant, but I do try to get out of my own head from time to time. Finding things to be thankful about always helps.

Jennifer and I went through a period of time where we'd email each other three things a day. Three happy things or stuff we were thankful for. We haven't done it in a while but it was funny how something so simple could make you pause from your constant brainchatter -- even just for a few minutes -- and focus on just looking for good things. It changes your mood.

Of course I feel grateful for my family and friends and that I am alive and employed and my cats are healthy and my car isn't making mysterious noises and I have so much, I even have a second a book to worry about. Today, though, my top three are:

1) My little circle of female friends, who I love and admire and respect and learn so much from. I've never been one of those people with 200 best friends, I've always kept a very small group, and now as an adult I feel even more grateful for the smart and funny women I know and feel close to. They give me perspective, they give me laughs, they give me a reality check when I need it, they show me their lives and share their stories with me. They make my life feel full and happy.

2) Readers. All readers, not just folks who read here but people who read books and buy books and walk out of the library with a stack. Reading is the cheapest and fastest way I know to get out of my head and into a whole new world. I love swapping books with people and getting book recommendations and most of all I just love others like me who know they're never alone as long as they have a book. With a book I can go places, you know? I can lie in bed or sit on the subway or just curl up on the sofa with a book and I am somewhere else, it's magic.

3) My job. Obviously one day I want to be less Walter Mitty and more J.K. Rowling and I will never give up that dream. Until then, however, I still have bills to pay and like to eat (a lot) and my job has been a solid spot in a crazy year. 2009 has been a wild ride in the world of finance and I know how lucky I am to be employed. This year I got to work on a project that was very detailed and complex and time-consuming and challenging and it was the best project I've done in all the time I've worked here and I feel ridiculously proud of it. The whole team was smart and hardworking and I think it made what could have been a difficult year much happier for me, more fulfilling. A lot of other stuff was not going so well, but instead of harping on the icky parts I just focused deeply on the project I liked.

Sometimes I find I have to look for the one thing that is going right and focus intently on it until all the crappy stuff begins to lose its importance, lose its grasp on me. That's what I did at work this year and it made me happier about coming in each day. And for that I am well and truly thankful.

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That's my three for today. Hope that wherever you are and whatever you're doing for Thanksgiving you're happy and full and that you have a good book picked out for later.


Posted by laurie at November 25, 2009 11:40 AM