Monday, November 23, 2009
It's only Monday, but for most people, The week leading upto Thanksgiving is hectic-wrapping up loose ends, travel plans, the actual travel, shopping, packing, blah blah blah. I sometimes feel like I need a reminder to stop and celebrate the holidays, and to be thankful for all that I have, most importantly, the people in my life. The Holidays always make me nostalgic, and it starts every year when the leaves start the change and the smell of the Autumn rustles in. I am brought back to my childhood and youth, thinking of High school Field Hockey, Homecoming dances, and then I keep going back and remember the smell of crayons, those black and white marble notebooks you HAD to have or else the teacher would get mad. As a kid, it seemed like the time between the start of school, leaves changing and the holidays took forever, but now, it's sort of a blur. So I always try to take a little time to look back and remember why I love the holidays. I have to get in touch with my inner child to really understand why it's so important to stop and smell the turkey.
As a child, leading up to the holidays included making hand-trace turkeys, construction paper feather headbands, and writing oh-so-important essays, on the college rule paper, mind you, about what I'm thankful for. I was so excited for Wednesday, it was a half day, and I'd jump on the bus and head home for a 4 day weekend with friends and family. Waking up Thanksgiving morning, it was early just like for school, but without any of the frustration. No, I was excited to trample down the steps and start watching the Macy's Parade. I was really into the balloons, that's why I tuned in, and it would bug me when they would have the bands, singers, celebrities and dancers. I wanted more balloons, and in my opinion, it could've been all balloons. That's why I ignored the bush league local parades-it was all bands and singers and floats-and not one single balloon. I remember the smells wafting in from the kitchen, and during commercial breaks, trapsing in and begging for samples of deviled eggs, sweet potatoes-with marshmallows-and anything else my parents would fork over as a temporary appeasement until the meal. We always had Thanksgiving early at my house, and then we would visit family and friends, or go to Church. I don't remember the evenings, but the morning and mid-day exist in my mind like it was yesterday. If my brother and I were really hyper, my Dad would take us out into the swamps near our house to trek around in the mud, and maybe play a little catch, or in my case, chase. I grew up in a very rural area, so there was plenty of empty land just perfect for a hyperactive kid on a holiday to run around like crazy and expel all that pent up thanksgiving excitement. I remember the wind whipping through my Dorothy Hamil Hairdo, and the distinct sting of the ball smacking my hands during catch. I remember my brother knocking me down and my Dad hugging me to make it better. The feeling of holding hands walking back to the house to get cleaned up for Thanksgiving Supper feeling perfectly content, and not a care in the world except who gets to snap the wishbone, and possible, will there be some Eggnog for later.
I wish my current cares were the same, but I've traded parade balloon anticipation for tax preparation & paying bills, hand-traced turkeys for last minute deadlines, and feel good hugs for antacid drugs. Yup, I'm officially a grown up, but every Thanksgiving, I try to stop and smell the turkey and remember that in the end, family and friends, and even all those things that have me stressed before the holiday, are what I should be thankful for. Supportive and Loving Family and Friends, Amazing clients, a job that makes me happy, the ability to put food on my table, the fact that I can afford to travel and make a big delicious meal to celebrate with the people who mean the most to me. So I guess I'm thankful for the stress in a way, because I've earned it. For me, the Holidays are a reminder of how much I've grown up, and how much I've stayed the same. It's refreshing and familiar, and it's all about being thankful for both.