Thursday, November 22, 2018

thanksgiving gratitude post

It's been a rough year, in all sorts of ways. There are still many ways in which I am not functioning and yet am functioning nonetheless.  So much of certain  aspects of my life were centered around my mother--not at all odd, and yet still odd since I've lived in an entirely different city from her for going on two decades. She was not a daily part of my physical world, but an essential part of my mental one, my overall consciousness. Trips home are the hardest part sometimes, and of course, apparently you can't avoid the holidays, here they come around like clockwork again. Then again.

Last fall, this time of year, I felt a need to cling terribly to the things in my life that were still good to combat the things that were bad.  To keep myself absorbed and busy, but at the same time, not as mentally present as I needed to be. You can only throw yourself into so many things until you wear yourself to the bone and I feel this now, the exhaustion, and yet I still crave both distraction and stability in the worst way, especially now--my usual seasonal funk.  There are also the ever-present monsters in the pantry--money woes, time woes, creative woes. And of course, the ever-present dread that something bad will happen for no good reason.

But, alas, this is post is supposed to be about thankfulness and gratitude. Despite the missing an important one, there are still people in my life I am eternally grateful for--my dad, my sister, my huge sprawling web of extended family, at least one side of whom are always game for eating & drinking revelry.  Jonathon, who I was exalting in my relationship post below, of course, who indulges all my vices and is a rarity of soundness when my dating history is anything but. My best fiend & boss, Jen, who I literally would not have able to handle last fall without (or handle work without since like the very beginning.) 

And I am, of course,  grateful for all the years I did have with my mother--all of the Thanksgivings, the Christmases, 42 of them , more than many people ever get,   Far more than she had with my grandmother who died suddenly when my mom was only in her mid-30's.  I was thinking this morning that when she, herself, was my age, her mother had been gone for several years. She also had a teenager about to go to college and another in junior high.  How different our lives would end up being. But in the end, the same grief.

There are my crazy cats, who are occasionally nuisances, especially while I'm sleeping and they're sticking me in the face with their whiskers.  There is work, which while crazy busy lately, still allows sufficient time for fun creative hijinks in the name of "work". While sometimes I'm financially tight, and have a tendency to spend erratically, I am still happy to have that stability in the form of a paycheck on the regular.

I am grateful for my apartment in a city I love more than anything (mostly, except maybe in January) even though my bed is never made and there are tiny tumbleweeds of cat hair on occasion blowing through my living room. I am grateful for my studio space in the gorgeous Fine Arts, , also a mess at the moment (trade cat hair for paper trimmings and cardboard boxes), Even though sometimes I feel like I can't afford it and actually spend enough time there working to catch up on things I need to.

I am grateful for my little press, and our authors, and the amazing books I am helping bring into the world.  For the readers who buy them.  For the artists who let their work grace our covers. For the people I've met though the auspices of the press, who in many ways form part of my creative support network. All the folks whose work I've gotten to know via journals and blogs and social media. I can't even imagine what a writing world would have looked like without the internet.  It seems like it would have been really lonely.

I am also grateful for my current writing year, which has been really productive in a way that past years have not.  I have two and a half new manuscripts in the hopper and ready to start sending around next year, one about mothers and daughters, one about gothic midwesterness, and another sort of about about monsters & monstrousness. Plus all sorts of little zine and book arts things coming down the pipeline. I am extremely grateful to my readers and the people who follow my work, buy my books,  and subscribe to the zine series or online projects (or even just follow this blog.) Also to the presses & editors who like my work enough to get it out there in the hands of readers.

And lastly, because they do so much in informing daily life, a nod to the little pleasures:  raspberry lattes, pilot gel pens, cheesy Taylor Swift sing-a-long songs, pretty dresses, new lace-up boots , weird little collages,  instagram, sketchbooks filled with post-its, mexican food, the view of the lake from the bus, Stevie Nicks, horror movies, libraries, tequila based concoctions, winter coats (see the erratic spending above)  vintage dishware, escapism novels (YA dystopian romps or smartish mysteries),  watercolor landscapes, blueberry donuts, midnights, Gilmore Girls on Netflix, and  baby shampoo (seriously, my hair has been terrible for awhile and this might be the only thing that has fixed it somewhat.)

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