Thoughtful Thursday: HAPPY Thanksgiving

From November 2014:


Yesterday was Thanksgiving and as usual I had my big do. It was not as big as it had been in the past; less than a dozen people, but that was enough to fill up my small home. And while I cannot say for absolutely certain, I think it might have been the happiest Thanksgiving ever. Not that it was perfect mind you, but happy. What do I mean by that?

My tiny kitchen…full of people?

When many people think of Thanksgiving, they picture the man at the head of long table, knife in hand craving the turkey as people sit quietly at the table watching. The table is set perfectly with china, fine silver and crystal glasses. And the 1950s wife smiles lovingly from the other end of the table and says, ‘Yes, dear.’

If you are looking for that kind of happy, then don’t come to my house for Thanksgiving. I serve buffet style in the kitchen. On the sturdy plastic plates with plastic knives, forks and spoons too and you guessed it…Styrofoam cups. At the end of the line, you microwave your food and take it into the living room where we sit around on the sofa, chairs and when the crowd is larger sometimes even cushions on the floor. We talk and laugh loudly…all at once, a half dozen sometime ribald conversations all going on at the same time. The only thing that remotely smacks of that ‘perfect’ Thanksgiving is the mountains of homemade food and me in my 1950s style apron.

But what made yesterday different? The best? A few things actually…

First of all, I have learned to prioritize, to accept that we can not have perfect. So I did make those compromises…like the plastics wear while sticking to the things that were truly important…the food and especially the people. The benefit…I was able to clean my whole house afterwards in less than an hour with almost no dishes (I may be the traditional 50s wife but two things I hate are washing up and ironing).

Secondly, I scheduled the cooking and the cleaning. I began on Sunday cleaning AND organizing my kitchen. Actually, I did that one under duress when my son threatened to throw away all the jars I have been saving if I did not get them off the counter tops. Damn, baby Doms; think they can tell their Mommy’s what to do too. When he came in from work that day, I got a…good Mommy though. He said the kitchen had not been that clean since I moved in, actually it is cleaner as I washed the walls and cabinets too. Then I did certain chores and cooking a bit each day. I combined this one with the prioritizing in that I made changes to the schedule as necessary, rearranging things to fit my family’s needs. In the end, I was finished by 3:00 PM on Thursday…four hours before anyone was scheduled to arrive. That has NEVER happened before.

Remember what it is really all about…FAMILY and friends. That one got put to the test this year. My youngest child is autistic and has severe behavior issues. The plan had originally been that she would go to her dad’s for the night. But she asked, well begged and pleaded was more like it, to stay. It was not really a hard decision…I love my kids and wanted them all around me. And you know what, she did better than I would have ever thought possible. I am so proud of her…and that is a major part of my happy.

But it also highlighted something else about happy to me…it is a state of mind and not the perfect circumstances. You see me agreeing to allow my younger daughter to stay upset both of my older children, who were worried that she would ruin everything for them and their friends. My baby Dom managed it well, expressing his concerns but not pushing it. My older daughter pitched a fit of her own. She sent me nasty texts that had me messaging my best friend that she was going to ruin my night. What my friend said changed everything…not if you don’t let her. My happiness was not dependent upon her or anyone else. Oh, she came slamming in the front door, she hid in a bedroom, refusing to talk to me and being down right cruel to her sister until her guests began to arrive. But that was her problem…not mine.

My happiness is not dependent on her or anyone else…it is MINE. I was reminded of that earlier in the day when I was chatting with another friend. He made the comment that perhaps he and I should get used to being alone as our standards were so high. And as I told him…I am there 90% of the time. Do I sometimes wish I had a swordbearer, someone strong enough to fight alongside of me, someone strong enough to earn my respect and submission? Of course, I fucking do. Humans are not wolves; most of us are not hardwired to be alone. But after a lifetime of weak and/or domineering/controlling partners, I have discovered that being alone is better than being with the wrong person. I don’t need any fucking man to carve my turkey…it is so moist that it falls right off the bone. And if the day does ever come when I have the privilege of looking up at someone and saying ‘Yes, dear’ he will have worked damned fucking hard to earn my respect and submission. He will be just one more thing to be thankful for in my life.

And my HAPPIEST Thanksgiving ever was a result of my attitude and the wonderful and flawed people that are my family and friends, whom I love and am very thankful for this year.

MY happiness is inside of me. As the friends in one of my groups say…I am enough.

Goddess bless and keep us all through this holiday season!

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