I have a lot to be thankful for. Since getting married eight years ago, my husband and I have (generally speaking) had decent jobs, money to spare and friends surrounding us. We aren't rich, by any stretch, but neither are we collapsing under bill payments and both of us still love each other very much.
In the past nine years, I've been doing Nanowrimo as well. I know some authors are against it, but personally, I think its the cat's cream; it gives me motivation and companions on my writing journey.
My computer with some new "writing buddies" from our Nanowrimo Box of Awesome.
I've always used a computer, laptop or tablet of some sort to write on. Of course, that means that every three to four years the units start getting old and breaking. I've always been lucky enough to be able to afford a new one when it happens.
This situation tends to leave me with partially working older laptops that I hate throwing away. In most cases, they still work, just not as well. They'll have forever loading times or even more commonly, the battery will stop holding a charge. Fortunately, being part of the Nanowrimo community means that I tend to know people who use laptops and don't need top-end units since they want a word processor and little else. So I started giving my older units away to people who needed them, who were down on their luck.
These people are always grateful and I've always made a point of telling them to simply to pay it forward when they have the ability to. Knowing that people who want to write can because of me is more than enough.
This year I had a generation one Transformer tablet that I wasn't using any more. The main damage was a single long crack in the screen though it still worked pretty much perfectly otherwise. At the beginning of Nanowrimo, I asked the ML's to keep an ear out and they found someone almost immediately. She would be starting late, IF she could get a computer, though she didn't think it would be possible. We cleared the system, took it back to factory standards and passed it to the ML's for her.
On Tuesday, I met the girl they gave it to, a super-nice woman who thanked us up and down for it. The look in her eyes was one of a drowning woman who'd just been thrown a raft and offered a tow off the water. She almost seemed shell-shocked by the kindness of a complete stranger that she'd never met before.
My husband and I were pretty casual about it, giving her advice on programs that we used, tips for using the system, how to detach it so you can use it as just a tablet and telling her to pay it forward when she could... but this was the first time I've seen my generosity affect anyone that much.
This woman was so nice she even gave us a card, just to thank us. It really hit me then, that we don't always realize that it's the little things, the acts of kindness we do, that can really mean the world to other people.
So today, I'm incredibly thankful that I have the capability to help others when they need it. It helps me to know that my little acts of kindness can be someone's candle, holding back the darkness another day until they can stand strong again themselves.