I have to admit, there has been a shortage of words lately. I’ve been trying to share something profound, something emotional in this year’s Thanksgiving post. It’s not that I have nothing to be thankful for – on the contrary, it has been a year of journeys and learning.
Maybe that’s it.
Because this year has been filled with introspect, there hasn’t been much noise. And yet, it’s been quite an intense and heartfelt year for me. When I became ill last February with a still unknown infection, I was forced to take stock of the things that were important to me. There’s nothing more powerful than facing mortality. It throws you into the here and now, rearranges your priorities because you may only have that day to make things right. During the ten days I spent in the hospital, every moment, every sequence was life changing. From the fear and worry about the people I may have to leave behind, to mustering all the faith I ever had in the universe’s grand plan. I came out of this experience with a resolve to do the following:
- Love with all my heart
- Strive everyday to leave a legacy
- Live each day in gratitude
- Get rid of all the noise
They’re all a work in progress. But the journey I’ve embarked on is what I’m most thankful for this year.
Loving with all my heart means no regrets, no shame for who I love and who I give my heart to.
Striving to leave a legacy makes me think of how I want my children to know me and remember me. Most times it’s opening myself to the risk of disdain by speaking out and owning my actions.
Despite the fact that getting rid of all the noise has resulted in fewer exciting trips, cutting out all my book signings and walking away from people who have done nothing to enrich my life – I am better for it. Sometimes, when it’s too quiet, I begin to worry about wanting to jump back into the fray. But that fracas has actually been replaced with much more relevance, more focused activity. Coming out at work as a romance writer, for instance, or devoting my time to serve on platforms for women and diversity – these are the quiet, little things that matter to me.
And so, I will myself to remember that not all noise is good noise. Losing followers on Instagram or Twitter does not define me as a woman, as a person, as a mother and a wife. Hard to remember sometimes, in a world that focuses on what you have, who you are and how good you look.
This year, I am thankful for the silence. And my heart sings of praise and gratitude.
In the darkest days or the brightest moments, let the silence guide you, incite you, inspire you. And let the appreciation in your heart show you the simple joys in life. These are the uncomplicated, beautiful moments that we often miss because we’re looking away.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you and yours.
I don’t really eat turkey – so help yourself to my share.
Just don’t touch the sweet potatoes.