November 27th, 2008

tadah

Give thanks!

I seem to get a newfound appreciation for a different holiday every year. Last year it was Easter. (Easter is the best.) This year, it's Thanksgiving! (Or hadn't you figured that out?) I think part of why this happened is our unusual circumstances this year.

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Okay, so that turned out longer than I meant it to, but I like taking trips down memory lane, so it's all good.

Anyway, we've had a lot of talks in church lately about how important gratitude is. As for my own thoughts, first, it's just common courtesy to be thankful to someone for doing something nice for you, or giving you something. But more than that, I've been doing this gratitude journal thing now for more than three years. (Actually, I wasn't sure how long, so I looked it up. Here's the entry that explains why I started it. I think it's been a very helpful thing in our lives here. I actually started it before what we now like to call our Year of Poverty (in which we learned what food from the bishop's storehouse tastes like), and it's hard to say, since I don't have anything to compare it to, but I think it really helped us come through that year (2005-2006, in case anyone was wondering). We realized that October that we just weren't going to be getting the money that we needed for a long while, and while of course we tried to get more work, things were looking bleak. And yet that December just felt really happy. And scary at the same time, but the happiness wasn't really overshadowed. It was really weird, but really cool.

I think it's really easy to get bogged down in all the bad things that are going on, especially (of course) when there are a lot of them. But I also think that if you make sure to look around and realize that there are good, happy things, too, no matter how small and hard to find, it really helps you to hold on to your sanity. And then, three years down the road, you look around and realize how awesome life is.

Of course, this year has been especially awesome for us. We made our first trip to Japan, we got to meet Toshihiko Seki♥ (and he called us beautiful! *swoon*), we got annual passports to Disneyland (and we got to use them!), we've got a ton of awesome manga titles to work on, including being trusted with Del Rey's most popular... But I don't know if any of those things would have happened without being grateful for the littler things. Of course, a big part of this theory comes from our belief that the more grateful we are to God, the happier He is to bless us with more. And I also think that realizing that there are good things helped us to not get so caught up in the bad things that it affected out work, which would then prevent us from translating well enough that Del Rey would trust us with Negima, or fast enough that we could earn enough money to go to Japan. This is something we know from experience, because sometimes we do get pouty and sulky, and it really does affect our work (via our concentration level). It's not pretty.

So that's my newfound appreciation for Thanksgiving. Even if you're not in the United States, it's never a bad time to be thankful for what you have. In addition to all the awesomeness we've had this year, I'm thankful for blue corn chips, cornadoes (they're like french fries, only made of corn, and we were like the only people who liked them, so they stopped selling them, but it was nice while they lasted), having a friend who worked at the Cougar Cove who cooked us some of the leftover cornadoes even after they took them off the menu, random happy memories, and wow, we just realized we never got lost in Japan. Definitely thankful for that. Maybe a little lost in Ikebukuro, but not lost enough that we couldn't find our way back. Oh! And all the people who've had us over for Thanksgiving in the past! And everyone who actually read this entire entry!