This has been a lovely holiday for me, even though I’m far away from friends and family, and there are those whose absence I was constantly reminded of today. I’ve had a full-time job for the last three months, meaning that my husband could stop working his soul-sucking retail job and focus on getting his college degree, but at the same time meant I’ve been working on one thing or another every day for months. What little time I haven’t been in work has been spend on writing, on publishing, on getting stuff done around the house, or (occasionally) sleeping. Last weekend was my first whole weekend off in a month, due to some mandatory overtime at work, but I spent that at a convention (more about that later) and driving (about 20 hours in 3 days).
This weekend I’ve got four days off, and nowhere to be but here.
I’ve seen some people posting about how they’re anti-Thanksgiving or how they can’t support the idea behind the day because they don’t believe in a higher power, but they’re still eating the food. Fuck that, I say. There is so much to be thankful for, and so many people/things to thank, that it’s just pretentious to avoid it on anti-religious grounds (further pretentious if you make a point of telling people how you won’t be doing something you could have just neglected to mention). I don’t have a connection with a higher power unless you count the Universe in general, and I am still damn thankful to be where I am now. The first 33 years or so of my life in no way prepared me for the near-daily joy I see in the world today, and I’m not letting your drama or negativity mess that up, thank you very much.
Plus, I have a turkey. A big turkey.
But first, let’s get back to the things I have to be thankful for:
I have a husband who loves me. I’d be just as thankful if I had a wife who loved me, or a committed family group, or a long-term partner, but in this particular moment my love is a man and we’re legally married, so there you go. I am thankful that he cares for me and cares about me, and I tell him this often, which is the way it should be.
I have a healthy child. He has a disability but he’s working to overcome it, and in the meantime we could be dealing with a host of other health issues that we don’t have to worry about right now. I’m thankful that while his disability does affect our daily lives, he still has a chance to go to school, to laugh, to be tricky and clever and brilliantly smart, to miss me when I’m gone, to argue with his Dad (which is far funnier than we will ever admit to him), to draw, to run, to climb. I love that kid and I am thankful he’s in my life.
I’m thankful for the chance to create Dagan Books and edit Cthulhurotica. Even if this becomes the one book we put out, and only 100 people read it, I will have done something that I was proud of, and not everyone can say that. I created something, I made it out of my hard work and spent hours and twisty brain, and I love it. I love the people who contributed, I love that more than just me thought it was a good idea, and I’m grateful for everything I learned about publishing along the way, even the parts I failed at and had to do over (sometimes more than once).
I’m thankful for new friends, new faces, new experiences, new perspectives. I’ve met a lot of people this year, virtually and in real life, that I’m glad to know.
I’m thankful for moments I will never forget: driving in the dark on twisty mountain roads, the color of the leaves turning into fall, chasing the child around the house while he screams laughter, getting married under a flowering tree surrounded by old friends, having that moment of realized joy when I finish reading a book that – at the end – made perfect sense, and lying in the dark in a soft hotel bed with someone special, waiting for that first kiss.
I’m thankful that I have a warm apartment, food in the fridge, and a growing collection of books. I remember what it was like when I didn’t have those things, and will hopefuly always be grateful that I do.
I’m thankful that my relationship with my mother has gotten monumentally better. I’ve gone from having a parent who barely spoke to me, who considered me to the “weird” one in the family, the outcast, the one who would never amount to anything, to having my mom be proud of the work I’ve done on the book and where I am in my life. She now emails me, calls me, has seriously talked about visiting and may even move out here in a few years (though she’s clear that we need to live at least 10 miles away from each other).
I’m thankful that Logan’s birth father hasn’t called in over a year, and my son is finally starting to forget him. I see how messed up Vincent’s daughter is over his in-and-out in her life, and I don’t want Logan to grow up with the realization that someone out there, who was supposed to love him and take care of him, didn’t want him as much as he deserves.
I’m thankful that I noticed when the first snow of the season started falling today, and that I got to take my son out to play in it for few minutes before it turned to rain and then stopped.
I’m thankful for an excellent dinner, for good music, for the ability to express myself to faraway friends through this lovely invention/distraction called the Internet, and thankful that you care enough to read this.
And, as always, I’m thankful that Great Cthulhu hasn’t yet risen up and devoured us all.