Yes, it’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving (in the United States) is coming and the posts about being thankful are all around.
It’s not just blog posts. Since November 1st, Facebook has been filled with people listing something they are thankful for each day of the month.
I have yet to write what I am thankful for and I was really resisting writing one of these posts.
That being said, I have to write this post. Let me explain.
That glass is half empty
This year has not been very kind to me.
About one week after I turned 41, I broke my nose playing softball. I took it in stride and figured that breaking my nose was going to be the worst thing that happened to me this year.
Yeah, I was wrong.
Not to be a Debbie Downer, but here are some of the not-so-great things that happened this year:
- My 10-year marriage (12-year relationship) ended, ironically right before DOMA was overturned.
- My copywriting business went from full-time to part-time because I needed to supplement my income with a 9-to-5 job.
- My father-in-law lost his battle with cancer.
- My mother ended up in the ICU after she turned blue in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
- A friend was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer.
That’s quite the list, isn’t it?
Let’s see that half-full glass
It would be easy to focus on all of that (and the other negative events that didn’t get included), but then I would just be miserable.
Instead, I need to find the silver linings … the bright spots of the year. After looking at that list, you might think that I have little to be thankful for. It’s not true.
So let me tell you just some of the things I am thankful for this year:
- My mom is out of the hospital and is on the road to recovery.
- I am going to spend Thanksgiving with my family (including my mom). Because I live on the opposite coast, I haven’t seen them since anything on the above list occurred.
- The end of my marriage was very hard, but it was amicable. Truth be told, we ended the marriage so we could stay friends.
- My ex-wife (well, we’re not divorced yet, but we’re in the process) and I have made the transition from wives to best friends. There were a few bumps, but overall it was pretty easy and quick.
- I am rediscovering who I am and learned that I am able to stand on my own.
- I surprised myself and have started dating someone special. She makes me very happy.
- Two of my best friends welcomed twins into their lives … and these two babies are adorable (and healthy)!
- These changes in my life – especially the switch in my business – allow me to take a step back and assess what I want to do with my business and my life.
- The view from my new apartment is wonderful!
- I was reminded that I have some wonderful and supportive people in my life who have helped me through this transition. (Including Heather – thank you!)
What the heck does this have to do with copywriting?
So, is this just another “I’m so grateful” post that is all about my journey? Not entirely.
There are lessons you can learn from my year.
Life is not always easy. Running your own copywriting business can be difficult. Heck, being an in-house writer has its bumps.
It is how you handle these bumps that will help you.
Too often it can be easy to only focus on what is going wrong. When this happens, you run the risk of getting caught in a cycle. Soon, you only focus on the negative issues and you find yourself in a vicious cycle. If you don’t let yourself find the silver linings – trust me they are there if you look – you will not be able to break free of the negativity and you will become stagnant.
You will find yourself hating your job or your business and you will lose your muse.
In this week of Thanksgiving, your job is to step back and take a few minutes to list the positives in your business and your life. What are you thankful for? It doesn’t have to be anything momentous – what makes your day a little brighter?
Make a list of what you are thankful for and keep it by your computer.
As the days go by, if you find yourself stuck in a negative funk, take out the list and remind yourself of the positives in your business.
Have a wonderful week everyone and Happy Thanksgiving!
PS – I wrote this post before I read Heather’s wonderful post Yes, failure is an option! Her post really struck a chord with me – the first two items on my “half-empty” list could easily fit into the failure category. Thankfully life has taught me how to grow stronger from adversity. If you haven’t read the post, read it now.
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