- 11/9: "Today, I am thankful for those who listen to my heart as well as my words. That means more than you know!!!"
- 11/10: "Today I am thankful for the rain.... I hate that people on the Gulf are getting hammered with it even worse, but thankful that it's also heading our way. We still need it!"
- 11/11: "Today, I am thankful for all veterans, and for those who serve today. Your sacrifices and hard work make my freedoms possible, and we don't thank you nearly enough!"
- 11/12: "Today I am thankful for health conditions that make me take better care of myself. They really are blessings in disguise!"
- 11/13: "Today, I am thankful for my family (immediate and extended) and their love for me through every place and stage of my life."
- 11/14: "Today I am thankful for bright warm sunshine and crisp air."
- 11/15: "Today I am thankful for the opportunity to serve God and his people through singing. I am so humbled by the trust God placed in me with this gift, and it's my prayer and hope that I use it properly."
- 11/16: "Today I am thankful for the ability to look back and say, "Nope, wouldn't change a thing." Every event, every person, every trial and every joy has made me who I am today, and why would I ever want to change that?"
- 11/17: "Today I am thankful for my friends: you keep me sane, and when needed give me a reality check; you love me in spite of my foibles, failings and flaws; and you make me a better person by your belief in me!"
- 11/18: "Today I am thankful for my chiropractor - I'll be even more thankful after today's appointment! :)"
- 11/19: "Today I am thankful for my dog, Maddox. I know that sounds crazy, but I love my buddy so much. He's a good example for my own soul: he loves without regard and without measure."
Now, for those of you who are familiar with the Sweet Potato Queens series of books by Jill Connor Browne, you will certainly appreciate this:
So there I am, getting myself a fill-up and coffee fix at a gas station on the way home, and one of the girls at the checkout counter was bawling her eyes out. I mean, red-rimmed, puffy, etc. and she was telling the other girl about the breakup of her marriage (at least from the little bit that I gathered).
I wanted so badly to both give her a huge hug, and then to tell her "Okay, baby. Starting now, chin up, tits out. He is a man, plain and simple, and you can't make anything else out of him. And the man who is worth crying over won't make you cry." But I didn't -- (a) b'GOCK! b'GOCK! and (b) she might have looked at me and (rightly) said, "Chick, you know NOTHING about my situation so keep your trap shut."
What slew me was when I heard her say, "I never wanted to go through my middle years alone... (sniff sniff sniff)." She looked younger than me. One, I'm thinking, "Middle age? Hunny, when do you think that STARTS because it sure as hell AIN'T 35!" and two, I thought, "Better to be alone and happy than together and in agony." Life is just too short to be in that much misery over a jerk (note: I know full well that NOT ALL GUYS ARE JERKS!!!! There are plenty of good ones out there, and I'm blessed to count several guy friends among them. But this guy was apparently a real weiner... er, winner. Yeah. Pardon me, my Freudian slip is showing....)
So to Jill Connor Browne, thank you a million times over. Thank you for writing Book of Love (the first) and for whatever in the universe compelled me to buy it and read it again and again and FINALLY having the message sink in a few years later: "If you don't like your life, change it." Life is too short to be wallowing in misery, and I really really should have been bolder and told the girl something uplifting. I don't know that it would have sunk in, but I should have tried harder. I just hope she's got a Jill in her life who will tell her, "Okay, enough sniveling because he isn't worth the salt in your tears. Now hold your head up and go conquer the world!"
Go forth and conquer, friends!