I make a point to be thankful all year long. And truly I am. In fact, this morning I had a dream in which my son went missing and I could not have been more thankful to wake to find the terror vanish with the daylight – some parents don’t have that luxury. (Of course, if I am being honest, the terror is still not gone, but my son is, at least, in my arms, thank The Universe.) In addition to the major things I’m thankful for, there are so many little things in my life I try not to take for granted – I wrote about some of them in a roundabout way on SOAM the other day.
But yesterday I did not feel like being very thankful.
Thanksgiving is my favorite meal. Ever. I love cooking it, I love eating it, I just love it. I cannot fathom people who say they get sick of turkey, or who look for creative ways to eat the leftovers. I eat my leftovers on my plate. I even usually heat them up (while nibbling at them cold because I just cannot wait).
But this year I just wasn’t into it. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice until it was too late. Wednesday evening, I submerged the bird in a cooler full of salty water, shoved that into the fridge and then grumped around the house for the next 24 hours (ish).
I don’t know why I wasn’t into it. Part of me was very lonely, having no real family to celebrate with. Part of my family hates me, part of my family loves me but hates people and food, part of my family is very far away and the one person who could possibly come join us won’t because this person is just as selfish as I am about turkey (which is very, FYI). I have some friends I could have probably invited myself to join in with, but it’s hard to do so while being gluten-free since the holiday is based so heavily in wheat and even turkeys are not always GF. And, anyway, my family situation doesn’t normally bother me so I was caught by surprise with this feeling of loneliness, oblivious until too late.
There are a few other things at play here, emotionally, that I don’t really want to discuss in this forum, but, sure enough, the hardest part of the negativity left me just as the meal ended. While it totally could have been a tryptophan high, I think it went deeper; I just wanted Thanksgiving over with. Christmas time is my absolute favorite time of year and I normally am very religious about when to begin celebrating with decorations and music, but this year I needed the spirit two full weeks early. Something in me just really needs Christmas right now. So last night (that’s twelve hours early, for those counting) we watched Elf and ate pie and, damn, but I felt better.
And I am thankful for that.