Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Counting My Blessings...

One of the Christmas traditions in my house is a rewatching (often multiple rewatchings) of the beloved 1954 classic film “White Christmas”. This dates back from my days working in retail, when Thanksgiving day would be the only day I'd have off between September and February.We'd have our turkey and trimmings at lunchtime, and in the afternoon put the tree up while the movie was playing in the background. And, many years later, it still works...

One of the songs in the film is a number sung by Bing Crosby to (and with) Rosemary Clooney—“Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)". And this got me thinking about my own blessings during this chaotic year, and the fact that I don't often stop to catalog and appreciate them. 

At the top of the list: I’m blessed to have an exceptionally loving, supportive wife who not only puts up with my penchant for writing books, but actually encourages it.  (She also puts up with my terrible jokes and puns, although for some reason she doesn’t encourage those). And she tells everyone she meets about my book. She’s my greatest cheerleader and most awesome marketer. And she’s a dandy proofreader as well. Not to mention all those many other fine qualities that I’ve appreciated beyond measure these last 37 years.

I’m blessed with a very comfortable home in a nice neighborhood, with enough food in the fridge and no real lack of the basics. I have a job I enjoy (for the most part), and worthwhile work to do.

I have the blessings of freedom that come with being an American. I have the freedom to worship as I choose, to express myself in whatever fashion I choose, to go wherever I want, and to basically live my life to my own specifications. Hopefully those freedoms will be made available to everyone, not just the privileged (of which I do not consider myself, by the way). And hopefully they will continue. I have my doubts on some scores, but that’s a conversation for another day.

I have the blessing of a reasonable intellect which allowed me to conceive and execute the writing of a full-fledged novel, see it to publication, and then revel in the fact that people have bought it, enjoyed reading it, and recommended it to their friends. I’m blessed with an excellent publishing team and a wonderful editor.

I have the blessing of living in a marvelous part of this country, where within three hours or less I can be in the mountains, on a beach, or in a major metropolis. I can partake of a multitude of cultural activities, from theatre to concerts to scifi/fantasy conventions to book-related events. 

I am blessed to live in a community which values literacy and libraries, something very close to my heart. 

I’m blessed to have a wealth of virtual friends across the world who have lent encouragement and support in my writing endeavors. You guys rock!

So tonight I’ll fall asleep counting my blessings. I hope you will too. Have a wonderful Christmas (or whatever holiday you happen to celebrate, if you do indeed celebrate), with all the blessings of the season. I will you well.