It is November 1st! I almost forgot! It is time to start my annual tradition of daily affirmations of gratitude! I started many years ago to help counteract the negativity that was rampant on FaceBook and other social media. Now, it is just good practice. Today I am grateful for the beauty of the changing colors and seasons.

Nov 2: I am grateful for a pleasant drive in the morning and a friend to share coffee with before work.

Nov 3: I am grateful for falconry. It got me up and out on a cold morning for a walk in the woods. It also got my cardiac workout in when my bird refused to return to me.

Nov 4: I’m grateful for the ability to go out and experience the change in
season. It is cold, and I don’t have my winter gear, so the briskness of the cold reminds me that I’m alive. I believe that is a good thing.

Nov 5: As I am about to head into a challenging surgery, I am grateful for my surgical skills. I came to vet med in a time where you did not have to be perfect to try things and learn. Because of a solid foundation and continually striving to improve, I know that this pet has a better chance at life because of me. Note: feel free to remind me of this if the planets do not perfectly align, and the pet dies or has to be put to sleep. Even though my skills are better than ever before, so is my ability to blame myself for everything. Responsibility is a good thing, and it means I force myself to be better.

Later that day: I did a very good job at an almost impossible tumor. I got the tumor out, but the dog died before surgery was finished. Perhaps, given the tumor, that was best.

Nov 6: I’m grateful for the support and acknowledgment that my team and I get. Yesterday, two clients went out of their way to say thank you, there were several comments of support on yesterday’s post, and this morning a client that is usually challenging told my staff thanks. It means a lot.

Nov 7: I’m grateful for the extra hour of sleep that daylight savings time reset allows. In a related positive expression, Foxtrot was quite bewildered at why I wasn’t up on time. Finally, after several new bruises on me, he was grateful for extra snuggle time.

Nov 8: I am grateful for those that have helped me, often without knowing. I was recently challenged to write letters of gratitude to people who have had a positive influence on me personally. I wrote a couple, thought of a few that have “gone before,” and I am still tracking down contact information on three. I am who I am because of them.

Nov 9: I am grateful for mentors current and past. I am also grateful for the leadership I have been able to pass on. Although I did not succeed with Blake, I have helped many overcome demons. RIP Blake, your demons are now quiet, but you left some with us.

Nov 10: I’m grateful for friends that are like family should be. So grateful to have a home away to visit.

Nov 11: I am proud to have served. In the time that I was in, it was not popular to be in the military. Thank you for your support! #USGGA #GoBears

Nov 12: I don’t talk about them often, but I am grateful for my family. My husband of 42 years puts up with quite a few of my adventures. My child is a senior at Wooster, and if the rambling chat last night is any indication, she is doing pretty well as an independent human. I like them both—even more than the dogs. Well, sometimes.

Nov 13: I’m grateful that for me, as the owner of Guardian Animal, a perfectly reasonable reason (read excuse) to be ten minutes late on a Saturday morning is that the cat wanted to be petted. Of course, I am putting in 70 plus hours a week.

Nov 14: I am grateful for my writing group. They provide positive interactions in a different realm. Most of my writing is facts designed to educate and teach. My fellow writers poke and prod and force me to work on my creative side. Today, we worked out some details for a book where a friend’s son and I and my hawks join a dragon in the dragon’s world. The dragon had been injured and trapped in our world a few decades before this story. The writer’s
group also lets me be human. They also cajole me into doing a book signing in Greenup on Dec11th.

Nov 15: I’m grateful for my falconry guys. The guys are all great hunters,
while I lack this skill. My birds are well trained, but we mostly go out for
walks in the woods. But my knowledge of falconry over the years and my
knowledge of medicine means the guys put up with my bad hunting. I have a hunting partner who is encouraging and supportive and a Padawan that looks up to me for his own encouragement and support.

Nov 16: I’m grateful for my animals. Foxtrot loves me and wants to be with me always. Whiskey and Tango have matured into good labs. Jarvis, Tigre, and Parker love to snuggle with me as cats only can. I’m not sure the Harris hawks Bravo and Zulu actually like me, but the Kestrels certainly do. I also currently have parrots, quail, pigeons, Guinea pigs, frogs, turtles, lizards, and isopods. They bring me joy.

Nov 17: I am grateful for my staff. They care about the patients and clients and try to do their best. I have a good team. (We could use a couple more.)

Nov 18: I am grateful for my best friends. There are two people who support and carry me through the tough times of life. Few are willing to see me as a person. I bring both strengths and weaknesses to a relationship. I am honest to a fault and do not like to play relationship games. I will help many, but I rail at being used. My friends force me into things that are good for me and know when there are things that are too much for me. There is often coffee involved in our chats.

Nov 19:: I’m grateful for good food with good friends. I am grateful that I live in a country where I don’t have to worry about being hungry.

Nov 20: I am grateful to have friends in at least seven time zones. Friends who help me bare the weight of the world when I need it.

Nov 21: I am grateful for coffee. It makes waking up and getting going worthwhile. When you are feeling down, the warmth and aroma make you feel better. Coffee with friends is a pleasant respite. Coffee is even an excuse for friends to visit.

Nov 22: I am grateful for Nature in all its many forms and ways. I have slept in a snowbank, climbed to the top of the mainmast in the middle of a storm, puked over the lee rail, swam with sharks in the Caribbean, hiked in a deluge in Africa, kayaked off the coast of Alaska, kayaked white water in West Virginia, climbed to the top of a cliff, melted in the sweltering jungle, ridden my motorcycle in the fall and recently hawked in the woods. Being out in nature restores something to us—something we need.

Nov 23: I’m grateful that I can be present to help others. Exactly as I was sitting down to a lunch of cheese and crackers, one of my mentees called about a staff issue. Although she is quite capable, she sometimes lacks confidence, and the situation is legitimately scary. I was able to help him reframe things, and we are working toward a solution.

Nov 24: I am grateful for the kindness of others. Last spring, a borrowed generator may have saved Matt’s life. Today I was offered two new falconry spots. It was a beautiful day to explore.

Nov 25: I am grateful for Guardian Animal. All the animals got extra treats today. My staff works hard. We have a lot of extra equipment that I am proud of. We try to do the best we can and not do things we don’t need to. Of course, my brand of honesty and forthrightness is not everyone’s cup of tea. I am grateful that I am almost okay with that.

Nov 26: I am grateful for falconry. Falconry requires the training of undomesticated animals. It requires research, knowledge, patience, and perseverance. (A good sense of human and humility helps also.) This grounding is good for me in my high-stress life. It also comes with built-in friends. Four texts alerted me to friends’ hunts and how their hawks were doing. (My hawks were overfed, so hunting was not going to work well.) Plus, I had a legitimate excuse to slip away to feed my hawks.

Nov 27:: I am grateful for the little things. Of course, little things are only little things to folks that can do them. Little things for me include opening a can with a regular can opener, diagnosing diabetes by looking at the animal and confirming it with blood work, working in a gunshot amputation emergency, convincing a hawk to work with me, and my writing.

Nov 28: I am grateful for the clients who support me. I am often told that I am my own boss, but that is not true. I have two to three thousand bosses. Without them, I couldn’t do anything. I love watching generations of clients come in. I very much appreciate the ones that take the time to write positive reviews. Reviews are the lifeblood of small businesses.

Nov 29: I am grateful for my family. I have been married for 42 years, and we can still carry on a conversation. My spawn is finishing up college and beginning to look at future homes. They allow me to do all that I do.

Nov 30: I am grateful for having the wisdom to learn that being grateful for little things, everyday things, and normal things makes all the difference in the world. When I started this more than a decade ago, nobody else did it publically, at least. Then everyone did, and now we are back to very few, but it is important. Be grateful for the little things because tomorrow you may not have them.

Ashland, KY — USA

Win-win or no deal. Steven Covey taught it and I try to live it.