November – Gratitude

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November begins with the Solemnity of All Saints and finishes with the beginning of the liturgical year and Advent. In the middle are parent-teacher conferences, Veteran’s Day, Morning of Service volunteering, church breakfasts, health insurance open enrollment, medical procedures, a court appearance for a traffic ticket, the premiere of Fantastic Beasts, and  Thanksgiving.

I’m sure I’ve left things out, and I can hear all of you readers going over your lists in your heads and groaning. I know, I know. I’m sorry I brought it up.

First and foremost, November is about colors. We’ve been very slow at leaves changing colors. They seem lazy and slow to change, and they seem muted with the grey, cloudy, dreary-ish days that have started today, but they’re still beautiful, and mesmerizing as well as introspective.

Second for November, is gratitude. We need to slow down, and remember how lucky we are, and in reality, while things aren’t perfect for anyone, we are still very lucky in so many ways. Now is a good time to think on our blessings and remind ourselves of what we have and simply be grateful.

Third, November is National Novel Writing Month. I have signed on to participate again, and I’m hoping to settle into a rhythm of both updating this website and writing for Nanowrimo, and other writings and creative plans. Look for my daily, 30 Days of Nano column, offering suggestions and tips for a successful writing experience for Nanowrimo or your own writing endeavors.

President Obama, Thank You

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Graphic from Michael Pop WestBrook on Facebook. 1/17/17

I’m not sure I can express how much I have enjoyed President Obama’s two terms as President. I don’t think I could have been prouder of my country in electing the first African-American President.

His positivity of yes, we can is a mantra we can all get behind and use in our daily lives as we putter along. Our small things add up to big things, especially for the people we are doing the small things for. Our small act of kindness and compassion is equally important to us as the givers, if not more so.

The example Mr. Obama’s given us in temperment, thoughtfulness, intelligence, kindness, compassion, and dedication to his family and by extension, this country is something that we haven’t recognized enough, and something we should all try to emulate.

If our children are a mirror we hold up to ourselves, he and Michelle have every reason to be proud of themselves as parents and as people.

I look forward to continuing to follow his (their) example and help to grow the Democratic party and continue to promote and support equal rights, freedom of speech, religion, and the press. As we move forward, for me, it’s not about resisting, it’s about enduring; standing up and speaking out.

Encouraging.

Helping.

Volunteering.

Being the solution.

I will stand with them as they embark on the next chapter of their lives, and in addition to wishing them the best of luck and my continued prayers for their well-being, I would also like to say – 

Thank you, Mr. Obama.

Thank you.