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Simple Gratitude

Hello awesome person,

I hope you're having a great week. What's the best part so far?

Simple Gratitude #

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends, who have been gathering and connecting and reflecting and eating yummy things this week.

Belated Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends who celebrated what I like to call First Thanksgiving six weeks ago, when this newsletter was on ice and I was only thinking grateful thoughts and not emailing them to people.

Happy Summertime to my friends down south, and Happy Almost December to my friends in Europe, Africa and Asia.

If you're reading this on the equator, one of the poles, or in space (wouldn't that be cool!), I appreciate you too.

You may have guessed, I'm full of gratitude today. It's been a bit of an emotional roller-coaster this week, but I'm fully in the positive, heart-full place today.

Whenever I’m feeling especially grateful, I like to think about why, exactly. So I made a list. How many of these fit you too?

I like people. Lots. I like people lots, even if I’m not good around lots of people, if that makes sense.

Sure, I like to sit at my desk and write, or paint, or read, or sort stamps. But send me a note and my heart sings. Go for a coffee with a friend and I'm over the moon. Or heck, meet a friend who brought along a new person to meet and I'm downright giddy.

All three of these things happened to me this week and wow, it made a big, big difference. I need to remember that when these connections aren't happening, I need to take steps to make them happen.

I like sunshine. It's been cool but sunny this week and I've made a point of going out for a walk in the few hours of sun that we get. I had a Zoom call at noon on Monday and it was risky, because I felt my attention getting pulled toward my bright, sunny window. It was an excellent call but my shoes were on the second the call ended.

Next week's forecast is calling for cloud and rain, but I'll be ready to go whenever I get a glimpse of Ol' Sol.

I like bakeries. Surprise, surprise, eh? Well I do.

Last Sunday, Cindy and I went to a special bake sale that Jess at [Working Culture] helped organize. It was a fundraiser for the World Community Kitchen and Doctors Without Borders, and bakers from all over town closed early and brought treats to Habit Coffee (which also closed early) for the sale.

We arrived 10 minutes before the 6pm opening and there were already 50 people in line. Or, lines. Two lines formed on either side of the shop and we had to zipper merge to get in. Soon there were 150 people in line, with more arriving faster than folks could get inside to buy some treats. One of the organizers started walking the lines and collecting donations, in case folks didn't want to wait, or they ran out of baking to sell.

Cindy and I made it inside in 30 minutes or so, and being good prairie people, didn't linger. We bought enough to support the cause but not too much, so the folks behind us could get something. We bought some raffle tickets. We said a few words of thanks to Jess, who was working behind the counter, and headed out to free up space.

Yes, it was nice to support a worthy cause. But it was even better to watch Jess and crew pull together such an awesome event, to get the word out and to gather all these amazing local bakeries together. And I have to say, the food was amazing! Honestly, the quality of baked goods in this city is second to none. I had the best cardamom knot I've ever eaten, a technically perfect and especially delicious lemon croissant and an exceptional fritter, all from different bakeries within walking distance of our apartment. Incredible.

Friends, nature and baked goods. Is that all I need to have a full and happy life? Pretty much. The only thing I'd add is a desire for everyone else to have friends, free access to nature and plenty of baked goods too.

So here's to you. I'm glad you're here, because you are giving me the friends part of the formula. I hope this letter helps fill in the friends part of your formula too, at least a little bit. And I hope you're able to find some joy in nature this week. And baked goods. Don't forget the baked goods. 💖

No podcast this week. Next week for sure. #

The bad news is there’s no podcast this week. Lots of good news though: next week’s show is all queued up ready to go; I have several more conversations lined up and ready to go; and these talks may be some of the very best we’ve done. They are worth the wait, I promise.

Notes from the blog #

I’m still blogging every day. My friend Heather told me that it takes 21 days to make a habit. I’m on Day 27 but it’s not totally grooved yet. Here are my favourite posts from this week.

- Small World, where I make a new friend and discover we have something rare in common;

- War, Refuge and Burgers, lamentations and nostalgia sprouting from a fascinating new documentary;

- Telling, not selling, where I try and fail to write a sales page;

- Spending time is the point, a example of getting wonderfully lost in a hobby.