Thanksgiving has passed for another year but the older I get the more I realize that thankfulness needs to be a year round, daily part of my life.The trick is….how do I remain thankful even when I don’t feel thankful?
It seems as in all things, thankfulness has everything to do with perspective and nothing to do with mere feelings.
A couple of years ago, just a few weeks before Thanksgiving, my husband was travelling behind a semi hauling live turkeys, when he noticed that a number of turkeys had found an escape hatch and were dropping onto the highway! Some were immediately killed, others managed to roll first and then run headlong into the ditch. Apparently they had decided not to become someone’s Thanksgiving feast! I am sure most ended up as some coyote’s dinner instead but I like to think that maybe one lucky, brave turkey survived to live another day.
My point is this; when hit with hard times am I going to view myself as the victim who stays put and ends up going nowhere good or am I going to take some risks, drop and roll when hit with life’s punches and run all out for a newfound freedom? It’s really all in my perspective of the situation; victim or victor.
The past couple of years have not been easy ones for me in my writing life. Due to a situation that escalated into workplace bullying I left my position as a newspaper reporter even though it was a job that I loved and was good at. In the ensuing months and even years, I found myself sinking into the quagmire of depression.
Soon I felt like those victimized turkeys on their way to the slaughter house; I had just accepted my lot in life. Until slowly I came to realize that this was no way to live…stuck and going nowhere fun.
Through the guidance of a good counsellor, I made a decision to stop seeing myself as just a victim of my circumstances and have started to peek my head out of the hole and see what’s out there.
Since I made that decision I have been amazed at the strength God has given me to take a couple of risks in just in the last month.
-I attended the Inscribe Writer’s Fall Conference. While there I received some much needed rejuvenation from every session I took. I especially felt encouraged in the one on one blue pencil session I risked taking (rather than hiding up in my room which I seriously considered). I shared a portion of a memoir I've been working on which can always be a vulnerable thing, since it is so personal but Bobbi Junior, who is a published memoir author 'didn't bite' and was in fact a great encouragement and support. It definitely felt like one of those 'God moments' in my life that I met with her.
-I have started taking a Creative Writing course through the University of Toronto. So far it has proven to be a wonderfully supportive group that is already helping me to think of ways I can branch out further in my writing. I am encouraged to see how God uses many avenues to help me along the path to become a better writer, both Christian and secular.
|Victorious - with my husband|
at the top at Algonquin
Park in Ontario.
But first it took a risk; victim or victor?
Thankfully, due to God’s Grace and the support from those He brings my way I can say that this turkey (aka writer) is choosing to be a Victor.
For that I am thankful.