On this ridiculously snowy Saturday morning in late May, Jason took the kids out for an adventure so I could have some peace and quiet to write. But before I could start I had to finish the Anna Quindlen book because it was ripping my insides apart, and I had to complete it to find any peace of mind at all.
I just closed the last page, tears running down my face, and I felt so grateful that my family wasn't here so I could simply let go and experience that cathartic release. For some strange reason when I watch a sad movie with Jason I always try to censor my tears, forcing them in so I don't cry while sitting beside him. I know he wouldn't judge me for crying at a chick flick, as that's what girls do, but it goes against my nature to show weakness, even in front of the person who knows me the best.
To be alone when I finished that novel was a gift. I identified so strongly with the main character, in the happy beginning of the story, during the gut-wrenching middle, and through her grief to find some measure of healing at the end. She was so much like me at the start of the book, leading a hum-drum family life rich with contentment and satisfaction, but she never stopped to appreciate how good it was until she lost almost everything. Then she became a different person altogether, looking back on her earlier self with an air of pity because she didn't know what real pain and suffering was.
It put all of my daily complaints into perspective. What do I really have to complain about? As a culture we have so much abundance, every day, offering us everything we want or need at the moment we desire it. And yet, we are quick to feel hard-done-by when anything goes wrong. I feel far too entitled to my own happiness. I am so easily upset by small frustrations and setbacks, when people are sick, starving and dying in this world on a daily basis.
I know that pain is pain, in any form, and we don't have to place our sufferings on a scale to see how they measure up to others. I understand that. But I also see clearly how spoiled I am in my own solid life. I have so much, and must appreciate what I've been given with genuine gratitude and joy, knowing that I'm not assured I will have it forever. Life changes, seasons moving from one into another with no warning, and I must embrace all of the joy and pain as it comes.
I am beyond thankful for you who are reading my posts each day. Your support and feedback means so much to me. I had someone tell me yesterday how much they enjoy reading every day, but I didn't have any idea that she had been reading. Since I'm now sending query letters to agents and to magazines for freelance writing assignments, I would love to show interested parties that I have an audience of readers already.
The person I spoke to yesterday thought she had to have her own blog in order to follow my blog, but all you need to do is create a Google account with your e-mail address, a user name, and a password. You have the option to upload a picture but it's not necessary. Then you click "follow" on the top right side of my blog, and you can also comment on any post that you like to engage other readers in a dialogue about the topic.
I would love to see the number of readers increase, and the only way I know you are reading is if you follow it. Thank you so much for reading. Those words don't seem big enough to express the gratitude I feel, but it's the only way I know to say how thankful I am.