An Editor's Life,  Gratitude,  Musings,  This Life...,  Tule Publishing,  Writer's moments

Sunday Snippet: A July Check-In

Every couple of years, I break out my copy of Sara Ban Breathnach’s Simple Abundance. She calls it “A Daybook of Comfort and Joy,” and it truly is. If you’ve never read the book, I recommend it highly and it’s even available as an e-book! I downloaded it to my Kindle a few years ago, which makes it easy to have wherever I am, but I’m still partial to the hardback book because it has my notes in it from previous years, and it’s cool to read those, too. I’ve been doing the Simple Abundance meditations this year because I need that centering right now.

Part of the meditation is to write in a Gratitude Journal. Believe it or not, blessed as my life is, sometimes I find it hard to list five things I’m grateful for without repeating the same things each day. I think that’s because the exercise requires more thought than I’m willing to put into it, and maybe also because some days, I’m just not in the mood to be grateful. Gratitude is the first principle of the six Simple Abundance precepts. The first two months’ worth of meditations focus on learning to be grateful for your current life, your current situation.

My life is wondrous. I am more than amply blessed with a lovely home, a great family that includes a Grandboy who is a constant joy, a son to be proud of, a sweetie of a daughter-in-law, and a loving and gracious husband. My sister is close by and I have several dear and intimate friends. I am a well-published author with readers who anticipate my next book. I have a great job that I can do in my jammies. I am a creative and mostly healthy person—what’s not to be appreciated?

Well, there’s my heart–it’s failing, but my cardiologist has given it a new lease on life with a cocktail of drugs that has increased my ejection fraction appreciably. And then there’s my ass…it’s big. If I don’t keep the size of it under control, my joints are going to turn in their notice. But it’s also the genetic shape of me. I can do all kinds of things to help keep this old ass to a normal size–control sweets, no wine every night, make smaller meals that are veggie and fiber focused and choose to leave food on my plate if I feel comfortably full. I think more importantly I need to let up on myself and relax about the shape of my ass. Everything in my closet fits. I’m walking in the ’hood and swimming in the lake at least daily. If this is the size I am for the rest of my life, so be it.

There’s also my inability to say “no” to job offers, which leads me to taking on more work than I should. Why? I think because I believe I need to be “earning my keep,” as it were. I need to contribute to the household income, particularly if I want to do things like do my writer trips with Liz or have a mani/pedi regularly. I do need to earn money and help out, but I don’t need to work myself into literal exhaustion just to prove my own worth. No one expects that—as a matter of fact, Husband has told me repeatedly to work as much as I want to, but not to overdo it. And just because there is work waiting for me, that doesn’t mean I have to be in my office, butt in chair, every waking moment. It’s okay to watch a movie with Husband, have lunch with friends, and focus more on my writing, particularly since I’ve got deadlines for new books through 2026.

Today, this 7th day of July, when about half the year is over, I’m going to make a promise to myself to try to be more writer and less editor. To try to be a more healthy, happy woman and less aware of the size of my behind. To embrace all the good and lovely things in my life and to stop wishing for things to be different. All I have right this moment is all I need. Someone quoted Henry David Thoreau to me this past week, “It’s not what you look at that matters, but what you see.” Yes and what I see is that life is good. Life is very good… I know that with all my heart. I’ll continue to count on the daily Simple Abundance meditations to help me remember what a lovely life I have.

Gratitude for Today: My nasturtiums are blooming–I started them from seeds in April. The peaches are ripening! Annabelle’s book is coming along. The bees are buzzing all over my garden. A long drive with Husband and getting caught in a gullywasher of a rains storm–it washed the car nicely!


So…stay well, stay safe, and most of all, mes amies, stay grateful!


  • Roseann McGrath Brooks

    Being thankful really does help put one in the right frame of mind. My latest struggle is to make the time to just sit back and enjoy those things I’m thankful for. I don’t always have to be “doing.”

  • Latesha B.

    Wonderful blessings that you have in your life, Nan. Thank you for the mention of the book. I think I will look it up as it seems to be something that I need right now.

    • Nan

      So glad to see you here, Latesha. It’s a great book and even though it’s a daybook–one reading per day, you can jump into July and finish out the year and then restart the beginning in January or even read the earlier ones at your leisure. Enjoy!

  • Kathleen Shaputis

    Love gully washer rains, we do not get them often in western Washington. 7/7 sounds special and a great idea to know we’re heading into the second half of the year. I have a lot on my plate personally this year. Fate, the universe, whomever decided that making a huge mess of family members was something we needed to go through right now and for the next year or so. One day at a time and gratitude of peace in the heart as best I can. And snuggle up with one of your books to hide out, lol.

    • Nan

      Ah, Kathleen, so very sorry there is family drama in your life right now–I’ll send lots of light and there are two new River’s Edge books coming before the end of the year, so… I’ll do my part. Hugs, baby!

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