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And it taught me a lot.
I sent over 3,400 handwritten thank you cards to my readers. Every time I opened an email from my website about a sale, I’d look at the buyer's name and say a silent thank you to them.
It’s easy to be grateful for my readers, for my loved ones' health and happiness…for coffee and chocolate and apple tea warming on top of my fireplace.
It’s harder to be grateful when driving through a dark and freezing night with my four-year-old coughing in the back seat. Oof, that drive to urgent care forced me to dig deep.
But, the thing is, once I started, it got easier. I live in a place where I have access to healthcare. My children have excellent medical insurance. My car is new and good in inclement weather. My son is learning that his mother loves him and takes good care of him.
As I drove on country roads that scared the crap out of me because of the black ice and suicidal deer, listing things I was grateful for calmed my anxiety. That was in February, and it set me up for the rest of the year to turn to gratitude every time I felt the squeeze of fear. After months of practice, it has become almost second nature.
I chose the word gratitude because in 2022 the word brazen taught me that the only way to be bold and without shame was to be grateful for every part of myself. Which is hard. Even when you spend a year writing thank you notes and being grateful for headlights. Fully loving ourselves is difficult. But this year I built a lot of self-trust and self-love.
Which makes me hard to fuck with–mentally, physically, and intellectually. I know what is important to me. I know what I am grateful for in this world. So as brazen taught me about gratitude, gratitude taught me about power. Which is why I’ve chosen the word power for 2024. I look forward to the lessons it will teach me.
If you choose a word for the year, or want to share any thoughts about gratitude and power, click over to comment on this post:
Happy New Year,
P.S. The dog never dies.
📚 Pay what you want for the first 8 Sydney Rye Mysteries in ebook or digital audiobook. Save 40% on paperbacks.
📚 Continue the adventure with books 9-12:
📚 Catch up with books 13-15:
📘 Read Relentless, Sydney Mysteries Book 16:
📗 Download the newest release, Jagged Truth, Sydney Rye Mysteries Book 17:
📗 Be Ready for next year with Brutal Mercy, Sydney Rye Mysteries Book 18:
☕️ If you’ve read all of the books and preordered #18, I think you may enjoy my merchandise: