Below is the text of the newsletter I sent to my subscribers on Friday. Read it! Then go subscribe, because sometimes they get things you don't! :)
Dear, sweet readers --
Spoiler alert: 2017 has been my worst year of record. I've suffered from more illnesses, injuries and other infirmities than I care to relive or catalog here, and they have left me physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. They've taken their toll in other ways, as well: on a marriage that's dealt with physical trauma for 8+ months of the 13+ months it's existed; on our finances, despite incredible health insurance; on my career, since traveling with a messed up back and what might be a fractured pelvis has been all but out of the question. Further, unless something dramatically changes (i.e., my body miraculously heals), I will spend the rest of this year canceling the hopeful plans I made on rare good days, and starting what is yet undefined medical treatment.
To focus exclusively on the negative, though, would be fruitless and disingenuous. Sure, 2017 has had its share of lows, but it's also had highs -- moments of pure peace, love and joy -- that I doubt I will soon forget.
That's what this week of Thanksgiving is about: putting aside daily groans and gripes, and celebrating the many wonderful aspects of our existence. Some things we're thankful for are big, while others are comparatively small, but all of them are worth mention.
Here's my list:
I'm thankful for breathtaking and romantic getaways to places like Bermuda and the Poconos with Nick.
I'm thankful for fun family trips with Rusty to South Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia Beach and Charlottesville.
I've always hated my birthday, but 35 was my best birthday yet. I'm thankful for that day of quiet, peace and celebration.
I'm thankful for competent doctors and other caring healthcare professionals.
I'm thankful for a husband who likes to cook, creative inspiration, heating pads, ice packs, dessert wine and The Golden Age of Television.
I've never been more thankful to be alive than in the wake of our car accident.
2017 was the year I started my blog, and I am both humbled by and thankful for its modest readership.
I'm thankful, too, for the ever increasing number of women who see me as a matriarch they can come to for advice, support or encouragement.
I'm thankful for the satisfying work of interviewing amazing women.
In general, I'm thankful for the professional clarity I've found, and for the spiritual peace I've located alongside it.
I am thankful for a family that loves and checks on me from afar, and a family-in-law that gives without question or hesitation.
I am thankful for a dog who snuggles me during the day, kisses away my tears on bad nights and approaches each activity with reckless abandon.
I'm thankful for a gorgeous house that I love, and a new yard and fence to go along with it.
I am thankful for friends who: put up with my nonsense, are patient with the aforementioned canceled plans and send flowers or wine or jokes or cards just when I need them.
Most of all, I am thankful for a husband who has loved and cared for me throughout this painful year. He's shuttled me to doctors appointments, picked up countless prescriptions, watched more television than even a man who likes television can stand, mastered the art of meeting my needs in the middle of the night without really waking up (which is hilarious) and done truly unrewarding things like help me go to the bathroom on more than one occasion. He does it all with joy in his heart, too, and never once complained about it.
But he's done so much more than that: he's been my biggest benefactor and career champion, reading my writing in garbage draft stages and pointing out passages he loves; he's gotten me flowers, baked me pies and planned little surprises to lift my spirits; he's tolerated the days I don't feel like I can shower, and told me I'm beautiful at times when I know these were lies; but, most importantly, he's made me laugh, over and over and over again. Laughter during a hard year is inconceivably important and yet underrated, and my husband is the funniest.
I don't deserve him, I don't think, which is what I'm trying to stay. But I'm thankful for him nonetheless. That’s why the thing I'm most thankful for this year is the day-in, day-out joy of being his wife.
Here's wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving that, upon reflection, turns out to the happiest Thanksgiving you ever had.
Love, love, love --