We’re approaching the time of year in which those reading this will encounter a ton of bromides encouraging us to say “thank you” to those people in our lives who have made a difference, or done something nice for us, or simply been there for us through the tough times. While this is obviously something we should focus on at all parts of the year, it is helpful, like New Year’s resolutions, to take a specific point to reflect on what’s important in our lives. And since many of us will be gathering around a table of some sort eating food with our families and friends next week, this is a good time for that consideration.
To wit: I’d like to use this blog space today to thank all the people who have made a difference in my life and in this year especially.
Thank you to my wife Mary for being the rock I needed throughout what turned out to be a difficult year. I don’t know where I would have been without her when I was abruptly laid off this summer. Through her constant support and encouragement I was able to explore a few different career options, and she also helped me not to freak out over the financial situation we suddenly found ourselves in this year. I also want to thank her for the backing she gave me and my writing - both with the launch of my second novel and with a major journalistic project I hope to finally unveil in the next month. And she’s been there with love and encouragement through our nearly five (!) years of marriage together. I am a much better person through knowing her, and I will always love you for that, baby.
I have to also say thank you to my current employer for giving me a chance this summer. It’s really nice to work for a company whose goals I believe in and hope to work toward each day. (Plus it’s freakin’ amazing to work with books all day long.)
Thank you to my publisher, North Star Press, for sticking with me through two novels. They believed in me from their first read of Our Senior Year and decided I was worth taking a chance on for a second novel, Last Man on Campus. They created amazing covers and well-formatted books for me to take to my events, and are always a mere phone call away if I need anything. Thank you Curtis, Anne, and Corinne.
Thanks to my parents Pam and Stan for supporting me in this writing endeavor. I haven’t always had the closest relationship with them, but my wife helped show me how that could be possible and I would say as of this writing I am about as near to my folks as I have ever been. Despite our disagreements, I know they are always there for me and I thank them for all the support they’ve given me as I struggled to figure out who I was over the last decade.
Thanks must also go to my parents-in-law Cheri and Abe, who have been major cheerleaders of my writing career and seem to think I’m doing an alright job taking care of their daughter. Also thanks must go to them for showing me a different kind of family and how to be close in ways I never considered.
Thanks to my sister Audrey for coming to visit during my book launch this year. It was amazing to have you here during that time and I look forward to seeing you again in New York soon.
Thanks also to Aaron Shaffer of MinnyApple, for giving me another platform to conduct some local journalism. Regrettably I haven’t been able to produce much for the site in the latter half of this year, but I can’t stress enough what a great website he has created, and what a great friend he has become since I got to know him as a fellow board member on the West Calhoun Neighborhood Council.
Finally, thank you to the readers. I have an annoying way of closing my emails with this cliche, but I really do mean it. For where would I be without your caring, or the lending of your eyeballs to my various forms of work (blogging, journalism, books) over the years? While I’m still a pretty small fish in a huge pond of authorship, I believe that I have carved out a decent niche of support here in the Twin Cities and may have even affected one or two of you deeply along the way. While writing can be a cathartic display and certainly has helped me exorcise some demons, when it comes down to it I’m really writing for an audience of readers in Minneapolis and beyond who care enough to buy my stuff and read it. So, I must again say: thanks for reading. I could not do any of this without you.
Next Thursday (or whenever) you gather with your family to celebrate the holidays, make sure they know how thankful you are to them. Despite a prevailing political mindset that we are all rugged individualists struggling in a Darwin-esque market environment, the truth is we all need each other for love and support to thrive in this world. I strongly recommend making sure your loved ones are aware of your feelings this holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
John Abraham-Watne is an author and freelance journalist located in the Twin Cities, where he lives with his wife Mary and their two cats. This blog is his attempt to catalog all the events that culminate a local writer's life.