"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them." 
John F. Kennedy

Those of you who know me or have been following me for some time know that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. For most of us, this year has had both its dismal and high points. There's no doubt that 2020 will be a year to remember and write about.

While many of us won't be celebrating Thanksgiving in the traditional sense with our loved ones, it's important to remember the importance of gratitude. The pandemic has taught many of us to be grateful for life's little blessings and moments, whether in the form of a phone call, message, or letter from a friend or loved one; or a kind gesture bestowed by a thoughtful person. Given how so many lives were both changed and lost this year, we simply need to offer thanks for the gift of life.

In addition, I am grateful to have you as my readers and want to wish you all the best during this month of gratitude.
Be well. Be safe.

  • Write a letter of gratitude to someone you care about.
  • Make a list of the things and people you're grateful for.
  • Write about the ways you can show your gratitude.
  • Write about what you're most grateful for about yourself.
"My Grandchildren's Eyes" (poem). Poetry Leaves Anthology. June 2020.

"Ode to Memory" (poem). Poets Choice: Book of Odes. Spring/Summer 2020.

"Sketch of a Poet's Studio" (poem). Remington Review. Fall 2020.

"How Illness Can Be Lonely and What to Do about It" (essay). Tiny Buddha. October 2020.

"How Being Isolated Can Affect You" (essay). Thrive Global. October 6, 2020.
"How Being Isolated Can Affect You" (essay). The Good Men Project. October 9, 2020.

"The Courage to Tell Your Story" (essay). Women Living Well After 50. October 11, 2020.

"Breast Cancer Can Happen to Any Woman: Can You Be a Survivor?" (blog). Sixty and Me. October 13, 2020.

"What Breast Cancer Taught Me about Life" (essay). The Wisdom Daily. October 13, 2020.
"What Breast Cancer Taught Me about Life." (essay). Thrive Global. October 21, 2020.
"What Breast Cancer Taught Me about Life" (essay), The Good Men Project. October 22, 2020.

This holiday season, the importance of human connection takes on a much deeper meaning as circumstances push us to find new ways to share our stories.

I've created "Conversation Cards for Meaningful Storytelling" as a way to connect with family and friends in person, over the phone, or via video chat—across the table or across the miles.

The holidays will be here before we know it! To ensure on-time delivery, please order as soon as possible this month.

To order on Etsy:

To order on Amazon:
Commercial orders:
New Leaf Distributing Co
or call 1-800-326-2665

How to Be Bored by Eva Hoffman (essay)

In another one of her inspiring books, Hoffman inspires us to reflect on the pros of introspection, which she says can return us to "our sensual, sentient selves; I can revive a sense of enjoyment in our bodily physical existence, and reawaken our receptivity to our surroundings" (p. 37). Since this book was written in 2017, we've had a pandemic that for many people has offered too much time for introspection. But the question is, is it really too much time? According to Hoffman, the answer is no, as she believes that lack of self-knowledge or awareness tends to leave us in the dark. Knowing ourselves and our inner workings and conflicts is what, in fact, makes us human. Perhaps I should have reviewed this book earlier in the pandemic as a reminder of the importance of time alone. As a journal keeper for more than five decades, I love Hoffman's section on keeping a diary, another path to introspection, but also as a way to keep a record. In conclusion, she says, "There are many ways to live; but to live meaninglessly is to miss your life" (p. 157). Thus, in order to live a life with meaning, we must know ourselves, and this can only be done through the art of introspection and self-reflection.
Almost Everything: Notes on Hope by Anne Lamott (nonfiction)

Regardless of the subject of her books, Lamott has a way of deftly and succinctly making her point known. While reading this book, we clearly get the sense of the importance of hope. This is especially poignant at this time, during a pandemic and an election year.

Lamott intimately shares anecdotes from her personal life, her parents, her son, and her extended family on how hope can be relayed. Her spiritual musings help to ground readers in what is important. At times, it feels as if she's deep into stream-of-consciousness writing without a clear direction, which for some readers might make the book difficult to follow.

However, there are some very captivating sections, such as the ending, where she offers us positive reflections that everything will be okay in the end. "We have all we need to come through. Against all odds, no matter what we've lost, no mater what messes we've made over time, no matter how dark the night, we offer and are offered kindness, soul, light, and food, which create breath and spaciousness, which create hope, sufficient unto the day" (p. 189).
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