For my final Giving Thanks blog I have to say I am thankful for my family; not only the family that shares my DNA, but the family I married into, my church family, my writer family, my work family, my community family, etc. We are all family, and that means we don’t always get along. But that doesn’t mean I’m not thankful that they are in my life because even the negative can have a positive effect. We learn from our negative experiences, at least we do after we stop crying and complaining and asking everyone why so-and-so is so mean. Just as our own mistakes can teach us why we don’t want to do that again, other people’s mistakes can teach us why we won’t want to do that ourselves.
And fair warning, as a writer my mistakes AND yours make great fodder for my stories. I’ve also been told that an excellent way to get past the anger of the “why is so-and-so so mean” question is to write that b____ into your next novel and then kill off him or her. Let’s call it “ink therapy”.
Now that the holidays are upon us and we are once again faced with dinners and parties that will include members of all our various families, here are some words of advice: 1) don’t debate politics, good advice even in a non-contentious election year; 2) don’t talk religion, unless you are with your church family; 3) let go of all the old complaints, dredging them up isn’t going to change the past; and 4) SMILE. If you smile, even when you don’t feel like smiling, before you know it your mood will begin to change for the positive. The day will not go on forever. It might feel like it will, but believe me, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and everyone will eventually go home.
So, I’m wishing you all Happy Holidays! Remember, family is a gift and a gift should always be received with gratitude and thankfulness, even if it isn’t exactly what you were hoping for.