Hopefully this has been a blessed year for everyone. I hope this Thanksgiving holiday finds you in good health and surrounded by people who love you and have your back. I hope you are blessed to share this holiday with someone special. If not, I hope you decide to make it a joyous occasion simply because you’re still alive to enjoy it.
If you are struggling financially, like yours truly, I hope you won’t let the struggle damper your spirit. Instead, remember all you have to be thankful for. Remember those who are more unfortunate than you, whose struggle is ten times worse, yet they manage to keep the faith and keep on keepin’ on–with a huge smile on their faces. Take a page out of their book. Remember, you ARE blessed.
I’m thankful I learned I was diabetic before I had a stroke, lost my eyesight or slipped into a diabetic coma. I’m thankful I learned I had high blood pressure before I had a heart attack. I’m thankful my Mother is still here, and I pray we will spend many Thanksgivings watching football and eating turkey, stuffing, collard greens and her sweet potato pie (all in small portions, of course). I’m thankful for every day that I see her face and hear her voice and her laughter.
I’m thankful I learned at an early age to be thankful for what you have. As a child, I thought I was the unluckiest kid. I had an absentee father–more like MIA for the most part. We were on welfare, and I practically lived in hand-me-downs and clothes from the Goodwill and thrift stores. I never got the toys I wanted for Christmas–you know, the “cool toys” that all the kids on the block have. I got the toys my Mom could afford. I grew up eating the “cheapest brand you can find” from the grocery store. I’ve eaten my share of “government cheese” and spam. That was some damn good cheese, and to this day I hate spam.
I’m thankful I grew up with a sibling with a mental disability. My older brother got Rubella (German measles) when he was two. My Mom wasn’t familiar with the condition, so by the time it was diagnosed it was too late. The disease left him mentally handicapped. It’s not easy growing up with a sibling all the kids laugh at, make fun of or call a “retard”. I wanted to fight them all..lol! I’m compassionate, almost to a fault, because of my brother. If he’d been normal, I may have been one of those ignorant people who frown on people with physical and mental disabilities and act as if they’re contagious. Growing up with a special-needs sibling taught me to regard people with disabilities no differently than I would able-bodied people. My brother is my heart. If you ever see me on an episode of “Snapped”, you will know that someone made the grave mistake of messing with my brother. The same goes for anyone who messes with my Mom, but I know my Mama will fight–hard–even at the ripe young age of 69.
I’m truly thankful for content mills. YES, you read that right. They don’t pay high rates, but content mills helped pay some bills over the year. They put food on my table and gas in my car (when it was drivable). They pay on time, and they let you know when the pay’s going to be late and when you can expect it. That’s something you can’t always count on with private clients. The only thing content mills have in common with private clients that they can be here today and gone tomorrow. Just ask anyone who writes for Demand Studios.
I’m grateful for my private clients. I’ve been blessed to have really nice ones so far, and I hope that my future clients will be just as wonderful to work with. I’m grateful for my writer friends, one of whom hired me as a writer on her team, through which I’ve had the chance to write on subjects I’ve never thought I would write about. I’m blessed to have gotten the chance to know another veteran freelancer who taught me the difference between a fair writing wage and a pitiful one. I’m grateful to have met a copywriter in cyberspace who gave me some tips in breaking into copywriting. I hope to make my big break soon, and I hope this holiday finds him in good health and fortune as well.
I’m thankful for my writer buddies who happily do the low-paying gigs I won’t do, who have taught me not to automatically dismiss a low-paying gig without looking at the whole project. I’ve learned that one project that initially doesn’t pay well could lead to higher-paying opportunities (or contacts who have higher-paying opportunities), while another project could pay really well but both the client and project could make you wish you’d passed on it. Many writers started out with low-paying work. The key is finding out all you can about the project, deciding whether it’s worth your time and effort–even if it pays low, and continue working to move up the pay scale.
What are YOU thankful for this holiday season?