“I Just Say Thank You”

The other night I went to a reception–a salon, really–hosted by The Silver Pen‘s Hollye Jacobs for journalist Lisa Ling, who was speaking later that evening as part of the wonderful arts and lecture series at UC Santa Barbara.

Hollye Jacobs of The Silver Pen.com, via vimeo.com
Hollye Jacobs of The Silver Pen.com, via vimeo.com

Hollye, who is a friend and amazing person, held an informal discussion with Lisa, and invited questions from the audience. It made for an interesting and provocative evening, but my favorite sound bite had not to do with the media, or Lisa’s work on Our America on the Oprah network, or her stint on The View, or even her sister Laura Ling’s capture by the North Koreans.

Lisa Ling via USAToday.com
Lisa Ling via USAToday.com

It was her response to Hollye’s question about how she stayed centered emotionally in the midst of the horror and suffering she often witnesses as a reporter in the field. Did she meditate, pray, or have some sort of spiritual practice that helped her to keep balance between her work and her personal life? Lisa thought for a minute and said, “Every morning I just say thank you.” For all the opportunities she’s had and for all that is good in her life. She went on to say how we spend so much time thinking about what we don’t have instead of what we do have. Amen sister.

To-do list: Say thank you
My revised to-do list: Focus on what I do have, and say thank you

As I sit here at my desk with my to-do lists, my first-quarter goals, my Evernotes and my stacks of shoulds–and fretting over the lot of it–I’m going to focus on what I do have. What I have right now. Love, friends, family, work, opportunity, Cherry Garcia ice cream bars, pimento cheese, and all the amazing things I oughtn’t take for granted for one single second. Oh, and Downton Abbey. Thank you.

P.S. Hollye should have a TV show. She’s such a natural and such a delight. And smart. Just sayin’.

Montecito Sunset
The Montecito sunset that was the backdrop for Hollye and Lisa's talk. Thank you.


  1. Frances
    From your writing it is evident that you are thankful for so many things. Thank you for sharing with us your life !!

  2. Frances,
    I needed that reminder tonight! Thank YOU so much for keeping that thought front and center for me,

  3. Ahhhhh, dear Frances. What a beautiful post (as always!). I am so honored. The recognition of gratitude was also my favorite part of our conversation. Thank you so much for coming!

  4. Love, love, love this!
    And thank you, Frances. I am an intermittent follower of a few other blogs, but I’ve pitched a permanent tent here. Your writing has inspired me for years. xxxooo

  5. We have all been so blessed…a reminder to say thank you to our Heavenly Father. As its written to stay in prayer and give thanks at all times.

  6. I have a new respect for her, it is refreshing to hear someone in the media so grounded and lovely in her response !

  7. Love Hollye and her blog, it is one of the (many) Silver Linings in my life, as is yours, ha! This post is so on point for me. I work with some … let’s say socially challenged individuals. There are days when they really push my buttons, rudeness is a pet peeve of mine. People ask me how can I deal with this situation on a daily basis, I look at it this way, at the end of the day, however long that may be, I will go home in my little car to my very cozy and pretty nest, light a candle and breathe peace. If the worse thing that happens to me is that I have to deal with nimrods at work, then I am, indeed, blessed. Love what Lisa said about looking at what we have, instead of what we don’t have. Finding the Silver Linings in the every day, waking up, cafe au lait in the morning, pimento cheese sandwiches (my Mom had a thing for those!), puttering in the garden, getting lost in a book … And, absolutely, Hollye should have her own show. I say we start a petition!

  8. It was about a year ago that your interest and support hatched a whole series of new work for me, so I have been saying thank you for Frances Schultz often lately. Also help, and wow, because I’m a big Anne Lamott fan ; )

  9. I too thank god many times a day
    For every blessing he has given me
    The beautiful morning …evening light
    My family friends .. Freedom
    To live and worship as we like..
    Just look up and say thank you

  10. Would have loved to see and hear that interview! Thank_YOU Frances for telling me what I needed to hear and say today, and all days. Did I see some little something in that to do list about “Bee”? Now that is something I can say “Thanks” to. 🙂

  11. I’m baking Holly’s cinnamon apples as I type in preparation for the “wicked stawm” ( as they say in RI) I am not only thankful for all of the items on your punch list but for my health, as well. One day at a time…..one big breath at a time..and always, one enormous thank you for all that I have!!!

  12. A beautiful post. THANK YOU Frances for reminding us of that we all possess that endlessly powerful yet so simple gift of gratitude within us…at any time.

  13. This was also the central theme of Edythe Kirchmeir’s life, and she just celebrated 105 years of very active living. Thank you says it all.

    1. Thank you Kate, and birthday blessings to Edythe Kirchmeir! Edythe’s 105 has generated quite the buzz – Here she is on the Ellen show http://www.ellentv.com/videos/0-h3obdx3y/. She is also the oldest member of Facebook and a longtime volunteer for the wonderful Direct Relief International, based in Santa Barbara. http://www.directrelief.org/tag/edythe-kirchmaier/... Also – Edythe’s birthday wish is to garner 105,000 LIKES for DRI – Here you go: http://www.facebook.com/directrelief

    1. Oh Randall thank you. And thank you for reminding us of Anne Lamott’s wonderful little book on prayer, which you have to love for the title alone: Help, Thanks, Wow.

  14. It begins in Genesis… the one thing in the beautiful Eden Adam and Eve do not have is the permission to eat the apple. It has been down hill from there.

  15. As I sat in the dental chair this am for the first of a four part procedure I was not feeling very grateful. This afternoon I woke to find an email from you!
    It reminded me to be grateful that I can have the procedure, and to forget about the pain and stitches that will be short lived.
    Thank you for a great blog.

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