Every 5 to 11 years, Thanksgiving falls on my birthday. It’s been a long stretch this time around, and I haven’t celebrated a Thanksgiving birthday since 2002, when I was 19 turning 20. So, in the past 11 years, my life has changed drastically, and so, so much for the better. Since then, I’ve gotten to write, to travel, to fall in love, to have adventures, to become a mother, and to evolve into someone that I actually like pretty well most of the time. I’ve become happy. Sure, there have been some hard spells during those years, but overall, they’ve been absolutely amazing, and I’m grateful to have lived them the way I have. This year in particular has obviously been quite the capstone to the stretch of years between Thanksgiving birthdays. I didn’t do any sort of thankfulness blogging this year because I was relearning how to have a daily writing habit with NaNoWriMo. Oh, speaking of which…
I’ve written before about what NaNoWriMo means to me, but this year it’s taken on a new significance. I really hadn’t written much since NaNoWriMo 2012, save a short story here and there. I just didn’t have the drive or the ideas or, especially after Pip was born, the energy. I thought about not doing NaNoWriMo this year, but the thought of sitting out after having “won” eight years consecutively just didn’t feel right. I figured it was better to try and fail than to not try at all.
But a funny thing happened. Turned out I actually did have plenty of time to write on a daily basis. It was just a matter of actually using the time I had productively instead of, you know, playing Candy Crush. It was the most delightful discovery to find that, if I put my mind to it, I really could power through 1,000 words in the 4 o’clock hour in the morning before work and another 1,000 words in the 7 or 8 o’clock hour at night after Pip went to bed. The hardest part was reigning in my brain and convincing it to do the job set before it.
Now don’t get me wrong. The 50,000 words I wrote? Pretty much all drivel. But the whole point for me this year was really just to prove to myself I could have a daily writing habit again. And so I did. And in the process, I think I actually ended up with enough to go back to at some point, which is a nice bonus.
And that’s really just the cap on a really amazing year. So, in no particular order, some things I’m thankful for.