Here it is, the day before thanksgiving and I cannot help but, ponder about the vast feelings of pain I have been associating with this Thanksgiving Holiday. Everyone I encounter seems to be prepping for their plans for Thanksgiving Day and the long weekend. They are so eager to over indulge in food, see family, and other holiday traditions. One of my colleagues jolted me away from my thoughts to ask me what my plans were. All I could do was force a smile on my face and try not to give away this pain I was feeling. I simply said, I was going to enjoy spending the day with my children and splurging on some great food. As she walked out of my office the thoughts came pouring back to my mind. In my head, I was asking myself; My goodness, is this really my life? I find myself dreading Thanksgiving and the extended weekend. I am not the type of person to wallow in my emotions. Don’t get me wrong, I do have my moments where everything hits me. In those moments I am overwhelmed with stress and a rollercoaster of emotions! A good cry and hot shower later, I’m pulling myself back together.
Well, today I felt like I was going to be having one of those moments. How could I possible feel thankful when I found myself feeling more alone, sad, disappointed, and restless? Here I was breaking one of my rules and feeling sorry for myself. Coming from a broken home with no family support or encouragement, family is something I value and cherish. I never thought I would be divorced and be doing holidays solo with my children and shuffling them back and forth with my ex. My ex who has become basically a stranger over the years and now the only emotional tie we share is our children. Yes, I found myself wondering what I did wrong to endure so much thus far and why would I be thankful for any of it?
Without even realizing it, I had allowed myself to get so consumed by my thoughts I found my eyes watering and tears being held back. Even worse, I was at work! I took myself to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. I told myself pain is a part of life, change is a part of life, and there is no escaping it. I knew I was thankful and did not pity myself for all of the circumstances I have encountered because; they made me the woman I am. All of my struggles, pains, losses, and each difficult memory has taken some part in shaping me. I have finally reached a place in my life where I felt like I was good enough, that it was okay to put myself first, and establish a happiness I wanted for myself and children. Needless to say, healing from my past and moving forward is exactly what I had to be thankful for.
I read something in an article that has always stayed with me. It is probably one of the most impactful things I have ever read my entire life. It was by Luci Swindoll “The more we demand, grab for, complain about, worry over, the less we can value, cherish, savor, enjoy, and accept. To look for the many little blessings is a choice we can all make.” Hmm, take a moment and reread that quote.
This is exactly what we have to be thankful for. For those of you with great parents, realize at some point in their life sacrifices were made at their expense for your benefit and happiness. That is part of what makes them a great parent. For those of you who are financially secure and not stressing over balancing bills over food, medication, and other needs, that is a blessing. Many people are without jobs, or working to live pay check to pay check. The list could continue on with all of usual things there is to be thankful for but, the unusual things are just as important. That unexpected change, a loss, a success, a goal met and through all of it, remember you are still here. Consider the sobering reminder that none of us are promised tomorrow and in a blink of any eye your entire world could be gone or changed forever.