Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving who celebrates!
I remember not really being into this holiday as a kid – no presents, all the desserts are weird and non-chocolate, and it’s a bunch of sitting around the table not doing a whole lot (I was the only kid on both sides of the family for a while). I maintained that opinion through a lot of my growing-up years, except for the fact that I usually appreciated the long weekend side of things, and the occasional years where we went shopping on Friday were always life experiences.
But a strange thing started happening about three or four years ago.
I started really enjoying hanging out with all the different generations in my fam. I mean sure, you grow up with the same stories but there’s something about jamming everyone in a room together and hearing all sides of what went on, because everyone has a different memory or opinion on oh, everything. (For years the epic argument among the older generations was where a certain picture hung in a house. You would not think that mentioning ‘the lamb picture’ could incite an emotional response from everyone in the room, but it did. Those of us who are left and remember this still get amused recalling that argument.) And, of course, there’s no better way to affirm that yes, you do belong to a group of people who will accept you as their own, for better or worse (and sometimes for weirder.). I’ve come to grips with my place at the adult table and have left the ruckus-making to the cousins (though sometimes I still help with that, too, mwahahaha…). And every dish that’s set on that table has its own story and family legend. And it’s…well, nice. It’s nice to feel reconnected every once in a while, despite any drama and day-to-day stress. Despite all the million things going on in my own life, it’s nice to know that this group of loving, crazy people are still here around the table.
In general this year, I found I have a lot to be thankful for. Last year was not the best for me – I was still feeling out of sorts physically at the time, I was still carrying around some baggage from the past few years, I was letting my own thoughts and fretting get the best of me. Since then I’ve done a lot of re-evaluating, a lot of self-reflection and work, and the fact that I’m feeling better helps a lot, too. I’m in a fabulous show that cracks me up nightly, working with an amazing group of people. I’m slowly moving forward on several creative ventures and finding some outlets for my writing. I’m realizing that I can trust myself to make good decisions, and learning not to play the comparison game because in the end it just makes me antsy. There’s no need to compare myself to anyone – for better or worse, I’m right where I’m supposed to be, learning the lessons and experiencing the emotions I’m supposed to experience…and that includes a lot of joy and a lot of gratitude. I’m blessed to have a roof over my head, food in my stomach, the ability to work and always add more projects to my plate, a healthy curiosity and empathy, and the desire to express myself. My energy is up and I have an amazing group of friends and family around me that are willing to help me out, hear me out, and raise an eyebrow when I’m too hard on myself. Between that and some killer pecan and pumpkin pie this year, I’d say I’m doing all right.
Because I’m also learning that yeah, the world is a scary place…a lot can happen in a moment. I could watch the news and everything and be terrified, or freak on myself because I’m not “there” yet. And sometimes I do. And then I remember that I have a lot going for me…as long as I even have the inkling, the merest possibility that I can still keep going and work things out, then that’s what I’m going to do, and be grateful to have that and all the aforementioned. It’s the little things like snuggly warm blankets, a choice of food, the ability to whistle, the ability to breathe on my own, the fact that I can make people laugh and smile. That’s just a tiny bit of all the things I have in my life that I can be thankful for, so I’m going to do just that.