My 2017 Gratitude Experiment

It’s November, and we’re down to the wire for 2017. I’m feeling pretty good about the year, if I can be honest. I’ve done almost everything I wanted to do this year, and I’ve got the last few things scheduled. And November is going to be a lot of fun, if also a lot of work.

Controlling Your Life, the email course, will be starting on November 13th. Is November the best time to start actionable items that will give you a better handle on your day to day so that you have time to write? Of course it is! Because these are tips and habits that you can start right away to make your life run more smoothly. Click here if you haven’t signed up yet.

This is exciting for me, because I haven’t done an email course since the 30 Days, 30 Ideas event. I’ve taken way too long to come up with another one. (By the way, if you didn’t get to participate in 30 Days, 30 Ideas, don’t fear. I combined the whole challenge into a free ebook, that you can get by clicking here right now.)

Virus is starting on November 29th. This is the third installment of Station 86, and it’s where some serious questions are going to be answered. Why has Earth gone silent? What’s happening, now that April’s secret is out?

I’m excited to start getting Virus out. It’s the longest Station 86 book to date.

Obviously, Thanksgiving and Christmas are both happening in the next 60 days. And so is my husband’s birthday. I don’t think I need to explain how much of my time this is taking up.

For those of you doing Nano in November, my online scifan group will be doing all sorts of fun things. While I’m not competing this year, I am going to be spending some time cheerleading.

Oh, and one more thing, nothing major. Just that Starting Chains, Book Two of Woven, has been accepted by Solstice Publishing! I can’t begin to say how excited and humbled I am by this. I’ll be working with my editor to get everything just right over the next few months. And I’ll be sure to tell you as soon as I know when the launch date is.

November and December are going to be amazing, and I am so deeply thankful for everything that’s happened so far.

Speaking of gratitude, I’ve been doing something all year that I’d like to share with you today.

See, 2016 wasn’t a great year for almost anyone. In fact, it was a garbage fire kind of year. While my book, Broken Patterns, did get published, that was about the only good thing that happened.

I was not feeling the new year excitement when we started 2017. I wanted to feel okay, but I didn’t think there was enough good happening to make that happen.

I’ve known for a while that a lot of people practice daily gratitude. I’d tried to do this in the past, writing down at least one thing I was grateful for in my bullet journal. The problem was, I forgot. It was on a page that I didn’t necessarily flip to every day. So, I’d miss a day or two, get discouraged and stop trying.

Starting on January first, I decided that if there was one habit I was going to get down in 2017, it was a habit of daily gratitude for what I have. Because, especially in these times of fighting and unrest, I’ve got a lot to be thankful for. My children are strong and healthy. I have a loving husband and a roof over my head. The damn roof might leak, but it’s there. We have food in our house, even if it’s pasta more days than I’d like. (Pasta and chicken are cheap. So, they’re staples of our diet in my house.) I have a good job. I have a couple books published, and most months I even sell a few copies.

I started writing down two things I was grateful for the day before, in the side column of my Erin Condron Planner. They could be little things, or huge things, it didn’t matter. Maybe a bat got in the house and I got to pet it before we let it out. Maybe dinner was especially nice, or my mother in law sprung for takeout. Maybe I could get overtime, or found an extra dollar I didn’t know I had.

Whatever my day was like, I found that I could think of at least two bright spots in the darkness. Even on the bad days. Days I was fighting with my kids, hadn’t slept well, was down because of the news. Even as I was praying for Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida and Los Vegas. Even as I was increasingly frightened by what I heard on the news. I searched for those bright spots.

I had the extra money to donate. (And if you want to donate, click here.)

My best friend messaged me, just to say hi.

I found some chocolate dipped cookies that were cheap at Aldi

We went downtown today, and saw the community garden.

I finished a big project.

The kids didn’t fight today.

Rick and Morty is back.

I made pork chops in the crock pot and they were good.

I managed to keep this up every day this year. And by remembering the good from the day before, I made every day of 2017 a little bit brighter.

What are you thankful for this year? What good has come your way, big or small?

If you’re doing Nano, you should have 1,667 words written by now

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