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A Gratitude Surprise

October '21

Yesterday I surprised myself by suddenly feeling very grateful. As you may know, I’ve described the approaches and benefits of practicing gratitude in earlier newsletters. However, what caused my unexpected feelings of gratitude were my reactions to incidents in a book I was reading.

The book was Leaving Coy’s Hill by Katherine A. Sherbrooke. As one reviewer noted, “Lucy Stone’s lifelong contribution to both the suffrage and abolitionist causes makes her a fascinating subject for a novel….Leaving Coy’s Hill offers the reader the chance to encounter a range of fascinating famous figures from 19th-century America, including Frederick Douglass and Antoinette Blackwell, Stone’s sister-in-law and the first woman to be an ordained minister in America.” — Kate Braithwaite ― Historical Novels Society

What elicited waves of gratitude from me were the descriptions of the lives of women in the mid 1800’s. While we certainly have a distance to travel with regard to women’s rights, we have come a long way! Lucy Stone was the first woman to attend college in the U.S., but her enrollment at Oberlin was filled with challenges none of the men faced. When her hard work and talents brought her to the top five students in the class eligible for a college essay contest, there was a glitch. If she won, unlike her male cohorts, she could not read her own essay. A male would have to read it for her, because women couldn’t speak to mixed gender groups. Lucy refused the honor to compete, because she wouldn’t be allowed to read her own work.

As I remembered addressing my classmates in elementary school (boys and girls), or in graduate school (men and women), I smiled with appreciation for an action that I simply assumed was a normal part of school life. I was fortunate indeed!

The more I learned about the lives of women in the mid 19th century through this book, the more grateful I became for the advantages I experienced in my own life—especially my liberal arts college experience.

I might also add that Leaving Coy’s Hill is a wonderful read! I recommend you dive into it next month—especially with the Thanksgiving holiday on the horizon!

Meanwhile, Happy Fall!

Since tomorrow is National Author’s Day, I am leaving the 33% discount on the paperback version of Midlife Magic: The Seven Day Self-Care Plan to Boost Your Energy and Make You Smile for one more day. You can learn more here. (Link)





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