As we swap out orange and brown for red and green, pilgrims for santas and pumpkins for poinsettias, I’m realizing that I’m not quite done with Thanksgiving. It went by so fast that I hardly got to spend enough time with my favorite holiday this year. I didn’t really do much cooking (mom hasn’t quite relinquished this meal to me yet). I didn’t take any pictures and I didn’t record any recipes. I was a bit of a spectator this year and I’m not sure why. Even the BBTK Instagram feed has been still since last week. The turkey featured in this post is actually from last year! So tonight as I sit back with a glass of wine, digesting my dinner of leftovers, I’m forced to contemplate why.
I love Thanksgiving. I always have. I’ve always taken such comfort in counting my blessings and giving thanks for all that I have. I begin thinking about it and getting excited about nothing more than gratitude well before the first Halloween costumes hit the shelves. In my head, the build up to the third Thursday in November is even greater than the commercial fanfare that retailers bestow on Christmas. This has quietly been the case for me for as long as I can remember, so the abrupt departure was unsettling to me this year.
As Monday draws closer, the clock is ticking on my favorite holiday which for me takes up the entire weekend. Under pressure to beat the clock, I have to admit to myself that 2016 has been a rough year and I’ve been dwelling on it. This Thanksgiving is the first one without my dad. It’s just one of many holidays in my new reality and although I’d like to think of myself as the strong and poised grown up able to face such challenges with grace and calm, I’m not. Instead of expressing gratitude for all the years I’ve had with my dad and an incredibly happy family, I’ve been focusing on the loss. I’ve been obsessing over the changes and struggles we’ve faced over the last few years and the people that aren’t with us for one reason or another. I’ve been letting blame and hurt and resentment take over.
It’s time to fix that. I have a half an hour left before midnight strikes, calling an end to Thanksgiving 2016. Mike has just prepared a late night snack of cheese, olives and prosciutto to enjoy as we finish our wine from dinner. I’m not done with Thanksgiving yet, and it’s not too late. It’s never too late for gratitude. And although I probably won’t settle all of these feeling in 30 minutes, when I close my eyes tonight, I’ll say thank you. I’ll begin to accept all of the changes and even the struggles and most importantly, I’ll remember all of the good in my life. I’ll remember to be grateful for all of the people I still have with me (near and far).
As you head back to work on this post-holiday Monday, I wish you a happy thanksgiving (no holiday needed). Just give thanks and as a result I hope you begin receiving, in abundance, the very blessings you will be thankful for next year.
Thanks for reading!
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