Giving Thanks seems to have to have fallen out of favour in a lot of places. I’m not a religious person but I do remember that my parents always insisted on saying Grace before each meal – I can’t remember when we stopped doing that. You find that “thanks” is often very appreciated – I always thank everyone who does little things for me, like opening a door, picking up something I’ve dropped, or even serving me in a shop – it’s a damned shame that a lot of shop assistants don’t know how to say thanks or even to stop their conversations with their friends. In that respect “Thank You” can almost be used as a weapon in this icy English mouth.
Since rubbing pixels with a lot of American people I’ve started to make a regular thing of having a thanksgiving post, although I didn’t do it the year before last – for obvious reasons – but I meant to do it last year, it just never got posted. The concept of being thankful is not a new thing for me, because I learned about “counting my blessings” from the first time that that Noble Dog, Pongo, was counting his blessings in chapter one of The Starlight Barking. I may not have a lot of the things that my nasty avaricious mind would like (small Georgian box house, pack of dachshunds and bassetts, two horses and Sean Bean covered in cheese) but I know that I’ve got things that many people haven’t, and I’m grateful for that.
But I do have a lot to be thankful for and even when life sucks big rocks I think that we should all sit down and count the blessings. It’s not meant in any spiritual manner, but rather in the whole “I was sad when I had no shoes until….” kind of way. We all know that we are luckier than so many other people on the planet (and we can no longer say “we in the west” either) and that’s it was a game of chance when I ended up as being born to aspiring middle-class parents in England rather than to an Aids-infected mother in Africa. So I just think we should be thankful, and you don’t have to be a Puritan, an American, or even to like turkey.
For my Dad. I’m thankful that he still remembers who I am and that I write. I’m thankful that he’s managing as well as he is, at 80, and that he’s got Aslan to look after. Even though he forgets the details, like which book is coming out next or where I am in the state of the edit, or that he’s never read my work despite every week saying that he will. I’m thankful for every day I still have him, and I tell him I love him every time I speak to him.
For being kicked out of Steeles Law. I had many unhappy years at that firm, being bullied, and treated like shit – and I look back at it now and wonder what the hell I was thinking. It’s a case of “it’s a job, so it’s better than being without one” I suppose, but now I’m without one, I’d rather be without one for the rest of my life than ever being ground down and undermined like that again. I regained my self-respect when they sacked me.
For my flist in general – to the people who friend me for no reason, to the lurkers who make me happy when they delurk, for the people who write, the people who knit, or rant about anything they want, for the historians and the philosophers, for the geeks and the … uber-geeks. I love people who see mansex in a scene where one young man nudges another with his naked foot (because I do too) and I learn something on my flist every single day and that’s something to be thankful for. Yesterday for example, I learned that a SCA count once wore “two welcome mats duct-taped together as body armor” and many interesting facts about David I of Scotland.
For the cats: Lili, Lucius and Severus. And all those that went before, particularly Spooky.
For the Archers, Sharpe, True Blood, Robin Hobb, Jim Butcher, GRRM, Pratchett, and all the great radio and TV and books I’ve encountered this year.
For the lovers of gay historical fiction, the readers and the writers of it.
For Running Press.
For classical music.
Make your own list. You may think your life sucks but you’ll surprise yourself, I think. People might look at my life and say it sucks, but I know it doesn’t. I have a lot to be thankful for, and I am.© Copyright 2008 Erastes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Erastes