Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I'm Thankful by Jenny Gardiner

I loved that Barbara decided to launch this blog with a theme devoted to thankfulness. There is so very much for which to be grateful in life, and sometimes we get so wrapped up in the mundane complaints, we lose sight of the bigger picture.

So for starters, the many things for which I am thankful. My wonderful family. My kids who despite being teens are great fun to spend time with. My many pets, as long as they aren’t barking too much, or snapping my digits off with a powerful beak. My home, which, although it is in permanent need of all sorts of repairs and a good overall scrubbing and organizing, is home. Delightful, cozy, a place I always look forward to returning to (and hoping it’s not gotten too out of control messy while I was gone).

My career. While so far, writing hasn’t proven itself to be particularly remunerative, I hope that in time this will follow. In the meantime, what a treat to be able to write for a living (and how lucky I am that my husband can earn enough to allow me the time to try to actually earn a living as a writer). It sure beats a lot of other low-paying jobs out there. And provides a great outlet for creativity and a chance to work in sweats.

For good friends, who make the fun times even better and who are there to soften the blow during trying times.

For good health, which we always forget to appreciate when we have it, but which I am often acutely aware of being grateful for, having had bouts of medical issues with my family that caused great angst and distress.

For a glorious blue sky and the hint of spring in the air on a January day. For people who are willing to do the really hard jobs in the world, so that we don’t have to. For the ability to have at our fingertips whatever food, whatever drink, and pretty much anything we want. So many people in the world go without as a matter of course. Certainly in our country we are indulged with privilege to a far greater degree.

I’m grateful that cigarettes can’t be smoked in most public buildings. I’m thankful that we no longer live in a city with burdensome traffic that creates added stress in life. I’m grateful that even though my dishes are pretty dirty, piled up as they are on my kitchen counter, well, hey, we have dishes. That’s a good thing! I’m thankful that my city is rich with generous people who contribute not just their money but their time to help others less well-off.

I’m thankful for soldiers who selflessly give of themselves in defense of the rest of us. I’m thankful for the many people who devote their lives to improving the health and welfare of the world.

And even though I get frustrated that I can’t get rid of that extra weight, believe it or not, I’m grateful I’ve been lucky enough to have the opportunity to have gained it, rather than wondering from where my next meal might come.

Life is good. Life isn’t perfect, but then again, it never will be. But life is, to a certain extent, what you make of it and how you look at it. And I try to see it at its best.

Thanks for having me, Barb!

Jenny Gardiner’s work has been found in Ladies Home Journal, the Washington Post and on NPR’s Day to Day. She likes to say she honed her fiction writing skills while working as a publicist for a US Senator. Other jobs have included: an orthodontic assistant (learning quite readily that she was not cut out for a career in polyester), a waitress (probably her highest-paying job), a TV reporter, a pre-obituary writer, and a photographer (claim to fame: being hired to shoot Prince Charles–with a camera, silly!). She lives in Virginia with her husband, three kids, two dogs, one cat and a gregarious parrot. In her free time she studies Italian, dreams of traveling to exotic locales, and feels very guilty for rarely attempting to clean the house. Her novel, Sleeping with Ward Cleaver, was the winner of Dorchester Publishing/RT's American Title III contest.


Nannette Croce said...

A pre-obituary writer. That's a new one.

Jenny, I think this about says it all. What a wonderful post.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Agree. You brought to mind the many things we take for granted each and every day which make our lives wonderful.

Kudos on your post, and on your writing work!

Kathryn Magendie said...

and thank You for being our guest! *smiling*

jenny gardiner said...

Thank you so much for inviting me!

Barbara Quinn said...

And I wanted to say that I really enjoyed Sleeping With Ward Cleaver. Fun and insightful book. Here's to many more.


jenny gardiner said...

Thanks Barb! So glad you liked it!

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