From East of Eden by John Steinbeck:
The dry earth was ticking under the sun and the crickets rasped. “It’s real godforsaken country,” said Louis.
“Makes me feel mean,” said Adam.
“Well, I’m fixed so I don’t have to live on a place like this.”
“Me too, and I don’t feel mean. I’m just goddamn glad.”
Sometimes I feel guilty because I don’t have to live in the parts of the world where daily survival is a struggle. Guilt turns a person mean.
The accident of my birth in a prosperous, Western country can’t be changed. Instead I try to feel glad or grateful. Here are some of the things that made me grateful in 2015:
The Greater Victoria Public Library. Its seemingly inexhaustible resources of books, periodicals, movies, and music enrich my life.
HarperCollins Australia who contracted my novel Outback Promise and continue to help spread the word about it.
Great Plains Teen Fiction who continue to distribute my novel Lockdown.
All the wonderful people who read and / or bought my books.
The writing community at large who nudged me forward to helped me improve my writing.
The writers and readers whose well-timed encouragement kept me going. You know who you are.
My family and friends who continue to support of my writing caper and so much more.
My amazing husband whose capacity for joy and optimism encourages me every day.
I try to remember these simpler gifts also:
Life in a polite, orderly society where acts of terrorism or gun violence are minimal.
The miracles of computers and word processing that allow me to write with relative ease.
Having good quality food available within an easy walk of my front door.
The gift of electricity that fills my house with light and warmth.
Fresh water, hot or cold, that is delivered when I want it, with the twist of a tap.
How do you keep gratitude alive and guilt at bay? Are you feeling glad today or just a little bit mean?
Photo from Wikimedia Commons: Rose in Winter in Tuscany by Waugsberg