Thanksgiving, a day that promises food, family, and soap opera like antics

While I adore the whole holiday and family gathering, I have never understood the sheer need for so much food that it takes a few days to actually make the meal, that we eat in the regular one hour or less time period. I do love that we come together, because let’s face it, we are a fast paced world that is always rushing about, so it is lovely to sit and find the best recipes and set the most pinterest worthy tablescape, but if it isn’t perfect, knowing no one will care. What we all care about is being together, having time to slow down and for a few moments, just bask in good food and people you care about.

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
― Oscar Wilde

On the other hand there are those of us who have no love for our relations and loathe all family events. That is more than normal and healthy for you to acknowledge, and even healthier for you to say no to family this year. But no one should be alone during the holidays, especially as there are so many wonderful ways to celebrate. There are friendsgiving, dinners through churches, synagogues and other religious settings, you can volunteer through several organizations or, get this, you can order in and invite a friend or neighbor who also doesn’t have plans! I know, life altering advice here!

“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite - only a sense of existence. Well, anything for variety. I am ready to try this for the next ten thousand years, and exhaust it. How sweet to think of! my extremities well charred, and my intellectual part too, so that there is no danger of worm or rot for a long while. My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.” ― Henry David Thoreau

In my first job after college, one of the professors at the college I worked at didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, for personal reasons, the whole slaughter of indigenous people after the famous Thanksgiving meal rubbed her the wrong way. Having grown up in India, she always went out for Indian food with her family on Thanksgiving, because it was important for her to make new traditions that didn’t interfere with her personal beliefs. That is important for us all to internalize, we don’t have to do things as we grew up doing them, nothing about tomorrow has to look a certain way. It is about finding a tradition that makes you happy.

“Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.”
― Erma Bombeck

Today and always, you have to find a path and traditions that work for you. Our past is often full of things we would much rather not repeat and look back at. Perhaps this Thanksgiving you are divorced, or sober, or dealing with your eating disorder for the very first time or a myriad of other things, but know this, this year may not be your ideal, but that is more than okay. Next year will be better and the year after that. You are setting a course. Don’t rush it, be grateful for what life is teaching you now, you are growing and maturing, and for that, be thankful.

All the best-
SG

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