Gift horses and gratitude

8 Aug

So much of what I want in life it seems I don’t want once I actually get it. The fantasy is better than the reality. Or, I find out, like Dorothy, that there’s no place like home and sometimes what I really wanted all along was standing right next to me.

Lately I’ve been going through huge emotional upheavals over lack of time to write, not having enough vacation days to travel, wanting to live someplace new and different, and wanting to see my teenage dreams of fame and fortune come true. What use is life, sometimes I ask myself, if I can’t make my fantasies a reality?

Yeah. I really can get that bratty and ungrateful, though my petulance seems to coincide with *that* time of the month. So, since I’m feeling like ripping out my uterus tonight and burning it in a fire before my hormones eat the last vestiges of my contentment, I have decided to list five things that I have that other people might have on *their* wish list. Things I can be grateful for.

I’m betting I’m not the only person who sometimes forgets the good in life and focuses on the “I wannas”, so I’m inviting you to join me in sharing the things that make you smile when you wake up in the morning and remember they are yours.

Mine are:

1. As I type this, and every summer just about since I was born, I’ve been able to hear the crickets and tree toads singing to me outside my window. My great grandmother used to tell me stories from this very same house while I fell asleep at night listening to these very same sounds. Wow. How lucky am I to have had that experience and to still carry a piece of it with me every summer?

2. I am a published author. I worked hard to get here, and continue to work hard to improve my craft, but it was a goal I set for myself that I can be proud of achieving and feel very thankful for.

3. I have friends who love me very much. These are people with amazing integrity and intelligence who seem, against all odds, to see past my moodiness and insecurities to the good things underneath and who remind me of those good things on a regular basis. I won’t mention them by name, but (*cough* Denise Tompkins) they are all kindred spirits and beautiful souls.

4. There are so many amazing people who have read my books and shared their thoughts with me on them. Each and every one of them enriches my spirit daily. I am so grateful to be able to connect with these beautiful human beings all over the world on a level I never dreamed possible.

5. Though I complain about the time it takes away from writing, my day job allows me so many other freedoms. In this unstable economy where so many people have so much less than I do, I’m thankful to have the gift of 40 hours a week where I can trade my skills for things that make my life comfortable and secure.

6. Adding in an extra here: I’m so very lucky to have a mother who supports my endeavors both emotionally and financially. She is my best friend and as well. Who could be luckier than that?

Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you. I hope you’ll share yours with me too. Sometimes the best inspiration I can find is in looking outside myself.


8 Responses to “Gift horses and gratitude”

  1. MadisonJEdwardsMadison J Edwards August 9, 2012 at 5:16 am #

    I couldn’t agree more. We’ve all heard the saying “Bloom where you are planted”, and it’s true. Nice post, Tibby. Go hug your mamma.

    • Tibby Armstrong August 9, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

      Thank you, Madison. I’m glad I didn’t overshare! Sometimes this blogging thing is a real nail biter. lol


  2. Margaret Ethridge August 9, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    Isn’t it wonderful to do what we do? I know I’ve tweeted similar fudgesicle-inspired odes, but my life rocks. Yes, there are challenging days. I go through too many nights staring at the ceiling fretting and tossing, but most of the stress I endure I inflict on myself. It’s important to take a step back, point, preen, and say, “How awesome is this?” Happy Friday Eve, Tibby. I hope it’s a great one!

    • Tibby Armstrong August 9, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

      What we do is at wonderful and a beautiful disaster. How could it not be when so much of a writer’s life (or at least this writer’s life) is spent examining emotions and character motivations under a microscope? Sometimes you’ve just gotta remember the happy and forget the plot angst for a while. 😉

      Thank you for helping me keep it real, Margaret!


  3. Evelyn Jules August 9, 2012 at 7:35 am #

    Great post! I love taking a time out and thinking about all the things I’m grateful for. Even simple things, like peanut butter, Nutella, and karaoke. I love being able to write, but to be able to share my words and my passion with the world is so freaking cool. And it’s even cooler meeting friends and fellow authors who are living the dream like me. 🙂

    • Tibby Armstrong August 9, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

      Hi Evelyn,

      For my nightly gratitude list, I’d like to add your reply to my blog post. Thank you for helping me to see the happy!


  4. Marilyn Campbell August 9, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    Along this line, I once read that a non-narcotic prescription to battle depression is to write one thing you are grateful for every night before you go to sleep. You’ll be in a more positive mood when you close your eyes and after a couple weeks you start getting addicted to the feeling.

    • Tibby Armstrong August 9, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

      Hi Marilyn,

      You’re absolutely right about the effects of writing down the “happy” on brain chemistry. When I was going through my divorce I had a notebook by my bed in which each night I wrote 5 things, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, that had been positive moments during the day or things to be grateful for. I still have that notebook and every once in a while when things are a little rough I pull it out and reset my thinking with a few days or weeks of this prescription.

      I’ve been meaning to tell you that your constant attention to other author’s blogs and your willingness to comment on seemingly each and every one is a joy. You inspire me with your positive attitude and enthusiasm.


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