Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving...What's on the Good Side? by Shirley Hailstock

Back (before the flood) when I was in college, I met a woman who became a very good
friend.  She was the Director of Students, even though she was only a few years older than me.  She once told me that she was thoroughly depressed about losing a boyfriend.  He was a high-profile actor and everyone recognized him.  When she was with him, there was an added prestige she garnered from both her friends and his.

When the relationship broke up, the prestige went with it and it plunged her into a place that she thought was dark and so deep she couldn't claw her way out of it.  One night, in the wee hours of the morning when she was unable to sleep, she got up and took a piece of paper.  She drew a line down the middle and on one side wrote Good and the other Bad.  She wrote down the things in her life that were good and weighed them against those that were not.  The list was much longer on the good side of the page.

I have never forgotten this technique when I’m feeling low or feeling that my life is spinning out of control and there is nothing I can do about it.  The good always outweighs the bad.  At this writing, Thanksgiving is approaching and I have much to be thankful for.  I have a lot to list on the good side of my paper and very little on the not so good side.

I sent in a manuscript this morning (wee hours mind you, but it's done).  That, in and of itself, is a monumentally good thing.  I finished the book, developed the blank page into real live people I liked and wanted to spend time with.  People I want to share with readers.

I have my family, immediate and extended, all well and healthy.  I have my romance writer friends, all supportive and eager to share information.  I have non-romance writer friends who I’ll see and toast the holidays with.

I have my shopping done for the big meal on Thursday and the beginnings of some Christmas shopping too.  I can spend some quality time with my daughter since I don’t have a deadline to keep me chained to the computer.  We can do whatever it is she wants to do (within reason).  She’s twelve.

On the not so good side, I have to cook the meal.  But then I get the leftovers.  I have to clean the house, both for Thanksgiving and before I begin another writing project.  If I don’t, it won’t get done until after the next book.  And by then I won’t be able to get into my office or the front door.


So you see the good is much longer than the bad.  Have a wonderful holiday.  Don’t eat too much.


And remember the soldiers who are keeping us safe to enjoy family, friends, and a good meal.


Happy Thanksgiving!  

14 comments:

  1. Shirley, your post is a wonderful reminder that rather than dwelling on negatives, there are invariably so many more things on the "good side" that we should appreciate and be thankful for!

    Thank you and happy Thanksgiving!

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  2. An excellent reminder, Shirley. Thanks for sharing it. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  3. Shirley, I love that method of noting the good and bad. The power of positive thinking! And congrats on getting your book turned in before Thanksgiving!! I feel the same way. I just turned in my AA's on my second book, so it's out the door so to speak and I can now focus on cleaning up, preparing for and enjoying Thanksgiving without a deadline hanging over me. Have a wonderful time with your family!

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  4. Shirley, Love the post and the reminder that most of us have more goods than bad even in our darker hours. Happy Thanksgiving to you. The leftovers make cooking worth it.

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  5. Great post, Shirley! It's so easy to get bogged down with all the irritations and challenges, but remembering all the wonderful things happening around me is so much better for me. These holidays can bring a jumble of emotion, and I want to focus on everything good and positive.

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  6. Thanks for reminding me that I need to focus on the good and not the negative! I'm usually very positive but lately have fallen off the positive wagon. Time to get back on it. Wishin you and everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  7. It's so easy to see only the bad. This is a lovely reminder of all the good things in live to be grateful for!

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  8. Shirley - congratulations on completing your book in time to enjoy the holiday and have more time with your daughter. What a bonus. I love that your housekeeping pattern sounds a lot like mine - everything done between deadlines. At almost 70, I've learned to be always in the moment and always grateful. If I wrote down all the goods, I'd get writers' cramp. Happy Thanksgiving - hope all your cooking goes well.

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  9. Thank you all. I love this time of year, but know that it can be hard on some people. I'm glad the post struck the right note.

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  10. LOL, if Thanksgiving were at my house, we'd be eating in the carport. I'm not sure I'll have running water by then. Hey, I do have half a sink (it's there, just without the water). I also have half a floor.

    On the good side. I have a husband who can fix a sink and lay a floor.

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  11. Congratulations on getting your book in! Glad to know I'm not the only one who let her house go while on deadline. I had dust bunnies everywhere! I'm in good company here. The best leftover thing I know is to layer turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy and top with cranberry sauce. Heat in oven. It's better than on Thanksgiving Day. Yum. Have a great holiday, everyone.

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  12. Shirley, Congratulations on getting your book done in time to really enjoy the holidays! Your post really sums up what Thanksgiving means to me--grateful for so many things big and small!

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  13. A truly uplifting, thought-provoking post, Shirley. Wishing you and yours a Thanksgiving as beautiful as your words. :-)

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  14. Wonderful when the good side is longer than the bad. I'm thankful for that as well. Happy Thanksgiving.

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