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My Cat, My Friends, My Canada!

I try to say Thank You to the universe on a regular basis. Be it that the streetcar arrived just as I get to the stop or that the sun is shining and no snow has fallen yet or that I get to work and my colleague has a hilarious anecdote to share. I believe that surrounding yourself with positive energy makes a difference. Lol, it doesn’t work for me all the time, but it is definitely something to work toward;).

Now, on to the big things I am grateful for:

1) Emma Peel

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It is almost exactly a year that Emma Peel came home with me from the clinic. She is a blood donor cat and lives with me as a foster cat until her stint is over and she becomes mine for good. In exchange for caring for her, the clinic takes care of food, litter and any medical dealings necessary.

I missed having a furry friend with me. I LOVE having Emma in my life. She greets me when I come home, is in the same room I am in, tells me about her day, usually when I’m trying to get work done, starts playing with her spiral when I am trying to sleep, has epic battles with my chair covers, and tracks litter all over my floors. And I wouldn’t give her up for anything. She makes me happy. She makes me laugh and smile and enjoy being with her.

BTW, have you noticed how many four-legged friends have appeared on the blog over the last two weeks?

2) My Friends

I have a fabulous group of friends, online and offline, ready to support me in whatever I need, celebrate successes and prop me up when the bad stuff happens. Having this network is amazing, hilarious, inspiring and something I am grateful for on a daily basis.

I started a new job just over five months ago and the two women I work with the most are fantastic! We really clicked and, despite being stressed out of my mind a lot of the times, we laugh our butts off on a daily basis. I don’t know if I would have survived without them these first few months;).

3) Canada

I May 2014 it will be 5 years since I’ve moved to Canada from London, England. Every day I wake up in my wonderful home and walk to the streetcar stop I am grateful for the move. Canada has offered me a much better quality of live and life-work balance. It has given me a better career and salary. It has given me Emma and my friends here in the city which I would never have met otherwise. It has given me a RWA Chapter that has taught me a lorryload of stuff. Without the TRW I probably wouldn’t be published right now. And Canada has also give me some beautiful and wonderfully warm summers. Everyone warns you about the horrid winters, but no one tells you about the amazing summers.

I miss some parts of London, but I have no plans to move back to the UK.

What about you? What are you happy about right now?

Tina Christopher

Writer of Sexy Steampunk and Sensuous Sci-Fi available at Ellora’s Cave and Amazon.

That for Which I’m Grateful

Yummy KiltGood morning, MANhandlers! Today’s photo is one I came across that made me stop, stare and thank God for men, kilts and work boots. Enjoy!

When I received the topic for this week’s blog post, I thought, “Name three things I’m most grateful for? Easy peasy.” Turns out that’s not quite true. I think I wrote this post four times, and every time I started fresh, there were three new things in my life I found myself grateful for. I decided to go with the first version because, while it’s much more personal than I tend to ever get, it’s the most authentic. Here’s what I came up with.

#1: My Husband

It might sound a bit trite, but he’s the thing I’m most grateful for in life. There are too many reasons to list, plus I’d probably get all sappy, so let me hit the high points. First, that man loves me more than anything else in the world, and he makes sure I know it–texts, notes, voicemails, emails, flowers, surprise dates. He is a cuddling machine. He listens to what I have to say. He’s brilliant and not stingy in sharing the knowledge, so I’ve grown marginally more intelligent over the years. (Yay, osmosis!)

Above all, when the shit really hit the fan and I found myself in a very precarious emotional spot due to some serious ongoing health issues, he stood by me, behind me for support and in front of me as interference. He was where I needed him to be when I needed him to be there without my ever having to ask. He simply loved me harder.

This man has taught me more about love than I ever thought possible, and I am a better woman for having been his partner for eighteen years.

#2: My Friends and Family

thank you noteSo simple. So true. I have a very, very small inner circle of people who surround me. There are quite a few people who orbit the group, people whom I value, but those closest to me? There are only a handful. These are the people I can call at 3:00 a.m. when my old Labrador Retriever had a seizure and my husband was out of town, the person I meet at Starbucks in “our spot” and can count on to be honest no matter how hard it is to hear, the person who goes to doctors’ appointments with me so I don’t have to be alone, the person who calls and says, “My Spidey Sense was tingling…what’s wrong?” and the person who simply shows up with a cold Dr. Pepper despite her personal war against sugar and says, “You need a little sunshine, Denise. Let’s sit outside.”

I do my absolute best to be worthy of their friendship, be they blooded family or not. My life is richer because of these people who form the nucleus of who I am.

#3: My Writing

This one might strike you as odd. Let me explain. Several years ago, I lost my job after a back surgery gone wrong. My job had become my life. It was everything I identified with, everything I used to define the parameters of “me.” When those parameters crumbled, I was left a shivering mass of naked regret. A decade spent building a career — gone. Disability was suddenly an unavoidable reality, and I hated myself for it. For a long time, I sulked. I didn’t want to rediscover joy in life. I didn’t want to find new passions. I wanted my old life back, and was so busy looking over my shoulder that I nearly missed what was right in front of me. Remember my darling husband? He bought me a laptop, brought it home and said, “Write. It used to make you happy.” I sulked a bit longer, then got up in pain in the middle of the night and went to the living room. There sat the computer. I opened it up and wrote the first few pages of Legacy, the first book I sold. Writing helped me rediscover who I was, who I am, and it gave my flagging sense of productivity an outlet that I could physically, safely, manage. I found myself in the words when I thought I was lost, when things were so bleak for me that I went to a very dark place I don’t talk about. My imagination was unlocked and I found  my happy inside. How can I ever thank him for that?

Take a second and let me know who or what you’re most grateful for. I’d love to celebrate them or it with you.

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