Each year I ask an author to write a Thanksgiving post for us. I am so happy to welcome my friend Kaira Rouda with her Gratitude post. Kaira is the author of four women’s fiction novels and a zillion romance novels. I LOVED her most recent book, The Goodbye Year. If you are a mom of teens, read this novel!
I am thrilled that Kaira’s next book is coming out in HARDBACK with the new Graydon House imprint of Harper Collins. It is called Best Day Ever and will be out next September. Trust me when I say, you will read it in one sitting!
Gratitude by Kaira Rouda
When Andrea asked me if I’d write a gratitude post for Great Thoughts, Great Readers I was honored. Especially in these tumultuous times, it’s important to focus on what is right in the world, what blessings we can count with glee. So in that spirit, here’s a round up of sorts of what I am thankful for this year. Hopefully, some of these are things blessing your life, too.
- My family comes first. I’m blessed to have four amazing, creative, world-changing kids and a supportive, golf-obsessed husband who gave us a scare this summer with a health crisis. All’s good now, but it was a great reminder of the love that flows through our family, that we are a great team, and that good health is a blessing we too often take for granted.
- I’m thankful for the ability to realize success is a continuum of highs and lows, and to act accordingly. It might just be maturity, although I hope I’ve always possessed the grace to celebrate other’s triumphs, because I know other authors’ successes don’t diminish my own. And I’m thankful for the ability to celebrate with joy when the publishing stars do happen to line up. Because again, overnight success is a misnomer and perseverance is the key to the writing life.
- A renewed awakening of the women’s movement is an unexpected blessing this fall. Women’s rights are human rights. We’re galvanized as never before. I see it in my daughter’s eyes. The fire has been lit.
- I’m thankful for the support of friends in my life. Life would be empty without them. In particular this year, my friend (and yours) Andrea who read a manuscript I was excited about, but that my literary agent wouldn’t read. Her positive push forced me to beg my agent to read the book, and a deal with Graydon House for BEST DAY EVER ensued. Of course, a note of thanks to my literary agent. I’m grateful to Katie, who stayed awake all night once she agreed to read the book, and submitted the next day.
- Friends rock. And they are the foundation, to me, of blessings. Especially in hard times – empty nest, elections, you name it – I’d be lost without my girlfriends.
- What can I say? Without you, this career wouldn’t exist. Your positive feedback, your support on social media, and your kind critiques make this writing life grand.
- Writing THE GOODBYE YEAR helped me through my first empty nest year, and I’m so grateful for that. The publication of the novel in May provided me with the ability to focus on a book tour. An added blessing was focusing on the characters’ crazy messed up lives helped me talk less frequently to my dogs. I’m not saying I talk to my dogs during the day now that the four kids are off in the world. Well, maybe I am saying that. So I’m very thankful for my dogs, too. #emptynest
- As I write this I’m at Miraval, a spectacular spa in Tucson, Arizona. In front of me, the Santa Catalina Mountains rise up to the sky, cacti of all types cover the grounds and a fountain gurgles in the courtyard. The entire focus of the place is life in balance. I believe balance is something you swing through on the way to something else, but stepping into a world devoted to peace, reflection and personal growth is perhaps one of life’s biggest blessings. The gift of time and reflection is something we, as women, don’t give to ourselves. Especially during the busy holiday season, take some time for you. You are your own biggest blessing. Treasure yourself.
- I’m blessed to be a part of the amazing community of authors. It’s without a doubt the most incredible network of people I’ve had the opportunity to get to know ever. I’m astounded by your intelligence, creative insights, collaboration and support. Whether it’s the Tall Poppies, WFWA, or any number of social media groups I’m a part of, wow. It’s spectacular and I’m honored to consider you friends. Keep shining, even in the face of this new reality. We are stronger together, and we’ll prove it now more than ever.
Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you count your blessings this holiday season and that you have a chance to celebrate with those you love. Life, my friends, is a miracle.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~ Albert Einstein.