Giving Thanks

My husband often asks me why I never pursued journalism professionally. I had thought about it at one point: a career as a reporter, investigating the lives of others and writing stories about people and their lives. Whenever I mentioned it, my mom often reminded me of how tough life might be financially if I became a journalist. So, I earned by degree in German language and European history instead. Because those are both such lucrative fields, of course.

There are days when I daydream about what life as a journalist might have been like. I love to write, of course, and I really believe that there is a good story behind just about everything in life. But then I snap back to reality and remind myself of why it’s probably best that my livelihood not depend on my ability to write a story. I don’t write well under pressure. Or with a deadline. Or with a topic that is given to me. Those things might get in the way of a successful career in journalism.

I started my November with the goal of writing a blog post a day for the duration of the month. The purpose behind this was to get back into the groove of writing and running, and to document the wonderful happenings that I anticipated in November. Noble though my intention was, I have failed miserably. Halfway through the month, upon realizing how difficult it is to write something – of remote quality, that is, every single day for a month, I stopped writing. Feeling increasingly guilty about not writing with each passing day, I have allowed two full weeks to go by without writing a single post. My lack of writing has been out of of sheer laziness… certainly not for lack of great happenings in November.

This month, I have experienced the joy of getting back into a regular marathon training regimen, in many ways feeling stronger than I have in years. I have gotten into a steady daily routine of life in Matamoros, both in the classroom and at home. The weather has changed significantly, making simply being here much more enjoyable. I have begun to read my first little novel in Spanish: a huge step forward for me in language learning. I have been relieved of a house and mortgage in Minnesota that have been weighing me down financially and emotionally for many, many months. I have had the pleasure of sharing my American Thanksgiving traditions with my new Mexican friends and colleagues. And most recently, just this morning, I received a most exciting phone call from my sister, who just got engaged to her sweetheart last night, on her 36th birthday. I’d say November has definitely been good to me. I am filled with gratitude for each one of them.

As someone who is reluctant to to be complacent, feeling wary of basking in my good fortune too much, for we never know what awaits us tomorrow, I am trying to pause during this time and enjoy these things for which I am so grateful. It’s hard for me, as I am the type of person who always finds (creates) new things to worry about and fear, but frankly, I am tired of living that way. While it will always be true that I never know what tomorrow will bring, I am going to try something new. Rather than anticipate those problems that lie ahead, I will just… be thankful for everything that is my life.


Thanksgiving dinner with my colleagues and friends from school. M. and I made the traditional American feast.

Thank you for reading!

7 thoughts on “Giving Thanks

  1. Wonderful, Deena! I'm glad you've had such a great month. I've also had a month during which I've felt a renewed sense of gratitude and a realization that simple things – biking, writing, spending time with my husband – can give my life a great sense of satisfaction and peace if I allow them to. Cheers to you! I hope your are able to carry this gratitude forward with you and push aside those needless worries!


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