Last year on Thanksgiving I went to my mother’s house as I usually do. She typically does the Thanksgiving meal ritual and I do Christmas at my house. Her small apartment made much smaller by the amount of people. We eat and engage in conversation on any various topic and leave exhausted and full. She is typically left with plenty of leftovers and the traces of having an apartment filled with our family. It doesn’t take much, our family, the ones that we truly have consist of only my parents, myself, my husband, my four children, my sister, my niece, and my sister’s boyfriend.
Small…but it is what we have. We may not always get along but we are still a family, nonetheless. However, this year was different. Our lives have changed quite a bit over the last year; some pretty drastic changes have rooted themselves in this new existence. My mother decided that she didn’t feel like doing the big family thing. She couldn’t afford to and she changed the routine. At first, to be honest, I was disheartened to hear the news, especially since that meant that I would have to plan my own meal while on the road. I worked up until yesterday and cooked and cleaned today. My sister went with her boyfriend to his family’s thanksgiving, and it changed the whole dynamic of what we had become so accustomed to.
I will say that it was kind of refreshing. It gave me time to reflect and be present in my children’s lives, as I have seemingly been gone for far too long. I got to have real conversations with them, not just the 5-10 minutes on the phone, which really adds up when you have four children. *Side note, I am typing all of this without my contacts in…been too long since I have cleaned them so excuse any typos. It felt good to clean up, it felt good to have those conversations…even if they didn’t always like what I had to say on various topics. Zack and I watched a movie together, which was just too inappropriate for the younger kids to watch, and he baked the pumpkin pie. Of course they fought and though it would normally really get under my skin (more so on holidays) I just enjoyed being around to mediate situations.
We had a great meal and overall a pretty great day, but I will tell you that I noticed so many negative comments via Facebook on different topics that it really aggravated me. I know I’m not always upbeat and finances have been a bit of a nightmare, but on Thanksgiving we should really be reflecting upon what we are grateful for in our lives. I am grateful for friends, true ones, new and old. I am grateful for my family, though it may be small, I am grateful that I got to have a short conversation with my oldest nephew today and caught up with his life. I am grateful that I am here, alive, and for the most part I am well. I still have a horrible cough from my recent illness. I am grateful for my partner on the road, Joefer. He and I sometimes get on each other’s nerves, but we are a great team and we help one another succeed in this job. If not financially all of the time, we definitely make sure that our clients are happy, the parents are happy and he and I are completely pushing to make sure that we do the best possible job that we can. Even when we don’t feel like it.
I am so very grateful for all the people who love me and all the ones I love in return. I am grateful that I have subscribers that actually take the time to read my babble, and even occasionally comment. I am grateful for the support and encouragement from others in many aspects of my life. The list of what I am grateful for definitely goes on and on. I try to push aside the negative and focus on what it is that I do have most of the time, especially during the holidays. I personally know that there are families out there with loved ones that won’t make it to the dinner table, I know there are people in my life that have lost loved ones, and I pray for those people to find some happiness and peace and to celebrate for the ones that can’t be there, if nothing else. For once in my life I have a job that though it may consume so much of my time has provided me an opportunity to change my financial situation, and has shown me more of our country that the average person won’t ever get the opportunity to. I’ve accomplished a lot, with the movie that my daughter and I were in, and that experience, to the beautiful poem my son wrote that was published, to the amazing authors that I have interviewed, and to the amazing people that surround me in life, it’s beyond words how grateful I am.
I could’ve written a blog on the history of Thanksgiving, but we have heard it before. History is great, but someday this will also be history and we have to ask ourselves, what legacy will we leave behind. Will we have an abundance of wishful thinking, and strong spirit, or are we going to leave behind a legacy of always seeing the glass half empty. The changes in my life are a huge transition, just like it was a huge transition for the pilgrims in a foreign country on foreign soil. They had to make the best of their circumstances and believe that things would be alright. They had to rely on those whom they hadn’t quite determined whether or not they were friend or foe, and make peace with their new brethren. Maybe you don’t have much in life, but chances are there is at least one person who loves you…and if not, be that person for yourself. Life is hard, and the holidays can be harder, but make it count, make it memorable, and make the history of our future generations that of peace.