Who is your favorite writer?
More to the point: How did they get there? For most of us, it’s picking up a Jennie Ritz novel or Lee Smith masterpiece or sinking your literary teeth into some Pat Conroy while on a Carolina beach trip and you find something. Something that resonates.
See, I got it all ass-backward with my favorite writer.
Corey Wheeland was a writer before she was my friend. She became a published author just last night. This same friend with a similar heart and a marvelous daughter that shines like she ate the rings of Saturn for breakfast had a book released on Thursday.
I’m buying Blessed, Beautiful Now: How I Embraced The Present By Celebrating My Past And Learned to Love Life because it’s still fresh on day two and also it’s payday.
I could write a review because I know her stories and style and synergies. I won’t gush on too long but Corey’s words over the years have been to me what cheeseburgers have been to this blog. If you’ve been around a minute, you know that’s no joke.
Buy this book.
I’d implore you to buy it more so than I would any of the books I’ve been in. Adoration seems such a trite way of putting it. Her life, her journey, her words … well, they’ve all given me hope. And I can’t wait to hear what gifts this book becomes in your hands, too.
What else am I grateful for? Glad you asked.
1-A clean car. A fresh start. It’s tough when stuff rattles around on the floorboards. I cleaned it out last week for Augusta, and it’s still (relatively) clutter-free for Gatlinburg this weekend. If I could only remember where I put my work badge.
2-New shirts. It’s good to update. I got a cool dress shirt with tiny skulls and crossbones on it. You can find some gems at Servant’s Heart or the Target clearance rack. And I’ve been doing this Marie Kondo thing long before she was on Netflix, y’all.
3-Renewed energy, focus, confidence. It’s not every day but lots of days. I wasn’t feeling it much this morning, but I remembered how much I got done yesterday. And how today can be like that too.
4-Deep sleep before long days. They’re unavoidable when you have this much infiltrating your calendar. It’s like my body has synced to the app and shuts down hard the night before an impossible day.
5-My morning drive with Camdyn. We had a good talk last night on the road en route to soccer training. I get such a great snapshot of what’s going on in the girls’ worlds when we’re side-by-side in the car. It’s the perfect catch-up.
6-Mantras. “Do your best, forget the rest” for example. Just something simple like, “8 hours to pizza” even. It’s best when the mantra surfaces on its own in your mind. Or when you hear your players repeat what you’ve said when things get dicey.
7-Warm blankets. It’s been cold in Carolina lately. I’m grateful to be able to pull on a cozy blanket or three when I need them. I met a young woman who wants to make sure homeless people have something warm, too. I hope to help her make that happen.
8-Abu. Yes, mischief cat makes another appearance. I’ve never been cute enough to get away with what he does, but I love his moxie. And he can catch. I need to capture this on video. The cat could be the Buffalo Bills’ No. 2 receiver.
9-Friends making progress. I love to see it. In conversations, in their outlook. We’ve all got antelope to chase. I love when you can see someone else make strides and feel joy for them. And it adds to the belief you can do it, too.
10-Planned barbecue. Like, not just dreams. But actually knowing that on Feb. 2, at dinner time, you will be in a heavenly-smelling joint with good people picking between beef brisket and pulled pork. There’s got to be a mantra for that.
What about you? What has you feeling gratitude and shit, as I so eloquently put it?