Monday is Thanksgiving and I have so much to be thankful for that I don’t even know where to begin. Everyday, I count my blessings, but sometimes, like every human being, I tend to take them for granted. I complain, whether it is about my job, about my kids or about my money situation, temporarily forgetting that I am more fortunate than most.
At times, writing gets very draining. You put your all in the words you use and you seldom get feedback. You spend a lot of time questioning if what you are doing the right thing or if you even are reaching people. This week, I was reminded twice that it is all worth it.
After a long meeting Tuesday evening, my husband and I came home and parked the Truck in the lot next door for the night. A nice couple was taking a walk on Second Street, going away from my house. The lady turned around and called out to me. “Are you Julia?”, she said. After I acquiesced, she continued, “I’m Brenda from Cogeco!”
I had spoken with Brenda over the phone before and she had such kind things to say about the paper and our doings in the community that she had wanted to do a segment about us on TV. That didn’t happen, but I didn’t really care. I felt like I had gained a friend in the business and you can’t put a price on that.
Brenda, her husband, my husband and I stood outside the Seeker Office and talked politics for nearly 40 minutes. It was delightful. After coming in, lying in my bed, I pondered. I knew that I had reached them through my writing, that what I have to say is something they are looking forward to reading every week and that really made me feel content and thankful about having this opportunity.
Then, yesterday, I received a letter in the mail. This one was from a lady who came by my office last week and requested copies of a certain article published weeks before about a friend of hers. I did my best to help. As she stood there while I was digging for said article, she asked who I was. I said my name. She then proceeded to let me know that we are on total opposite sides when it comes to politics. I told her not to read my upcoming editorial. She, of course, read it anyway.
The letter was showing appreciation for my help. It also said that she had read the article and that we couldn’t think more differently, but that no matter our differences, she would continue to avidly read the Seeker. She described my articles as “written from the heart, down, dirty and stimulating” and she ended her letter with “You have my total respect”.
I can’t begin to express how touched, humbled and flattered those words made me feel. It is easy to gain the respect of those who share your points of view; we’re on common grounds to begin with. But getting the respect of someone who thinks differently, now that’s the ultimate compliment.
So despite the fact someone backed up in my husband’s passenger door (Hello ladies at the Collision Reporting Centre!!!) and despite having teenager hassles this week, I AM thankful. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my work. I am thankful for my friends. I am thankful for my life. I am especially thankful for my readers, those who agree and those who disagree. They keep me going week in, week out.
I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and whatever you do, don’t forget to show your gratitude.
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. – William Arthur Ward
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