Gratitude – Not Just for Thanksgiving Anymore

Gratitude Edited

I hope everyone had a relaxing Thanksgiving.  But the truth is, most of you probably didn’t.  Many of my readers probably missed their children because it wasn’t their year for Thanksgiving (myself included).  Others, had them but they talked about “last year with _______, we did ______, and it was awesome”, while you smile politely and try to sound excited.  Lastly, there are the co-parents who have the shittiest deal, and have to swap halfway through the day.  These agreements are written by attorneys who obviously are not divorced, and do not know that seeing your ex halfway through the day and having to deal with children in transition sucks giant hairy donkey balls.  It all sucks no matter which of the above you were this Thanksgiving.

All that said, we don’t need a holiday to be grateful.  Besides, we celebrate the Natives assisting the Pilgrims in the month which has been assigned Native American Heritage Month (bet you didn’t even know we had one of those), in which we pretend all is well.  But, it’s like watching the Titanic movie, we know the damn thing sinks and we feel the same about Thanksgiving thinking, “run, they’re gonna take your shit!  Also, thanks for the corn.”

I know it’s hard, life is hard.  But, we can choose how we view it.  I feel like all I do is work and do chores.  What does that mean?  It means I’m employed.  I wash dishes because I have food to eat, and people to eat it with.  I do mountains of laundry and wash millions of tiny socks because I have two beautiful daughters.  I scrub out dog crates because I have companions that I don’t have to explain myself to and they are always happy to see me.  I have floors to mop because I own my own home and I want it to be well maintained.  I fall in the toilet at 4AM because I have a fabulous male friends who accidentally leave the seat up.

You don’t need to stand around a table and talk about what you are grateful for once per year while secretly being pissed when, “fuck, that’s what I was going to say.”  You can choose to be grateful for those you have even if it isn’t 100% of the time.  I’ve heard about gratitude journals but I’ve never been disciplined to keep up with one.  I simply make note that when my kids are upstairs screaming at each other, that I would never do without one just to stop the yelling.  The truth is, life is tough and as co-parents, we have a whole other set of rules and dynamics.  That said, we can embrace them and appreciate what we do have.  I don’t know about you, but I’d take those two girls 50% over 0% anytime.   

Happy Thanksgiving – Be Grateful, Not Homicidal

Thanksgiving Edited

See that woman up there?  Do you remember her?  Yeah, me neither.  My mom gave it a good run but it always ended in her pretending to be that lady up there, and instead terrified the rest of us.  Ten bucks says that woman up there isn’t even that woman.  No one is that damn happy.  Happy holidays!

In all seriousness though, holidays are stressful.  Does anyone not cringe when they see the holiday decorations appear in stores or hear Christmas music in the mall?  How have we allowed this magical time of year to become such a stressful burden?

This year I can confidently say, with Thanksgiving 3 days away that my “rest of the year self” has finally taken hold of my “holiday self” and beaten it into submission.  I am not stressed and I am not panicked.  I do not spend the holidays (or any other time if I can help it) with people I don’t like or that make me feel bad about myself anymore (I used to feel obligated, but I found this passes with age).  As such, if I mess something up, they will forgive me and therefore, there is no need to worry.  The key here is who you choose to surround yourself with.  Learning to say “no” helps here.  Avoid twatwaffles.  If they show up, add wine.

Thanksgiving is not about having the perfect family because no one does; more than half the population is divorced folks.  It is not about being the perfect cook; thank goodness because my family is screwed there.  It’s not about having a perfectly decorated house; by the time I remember to decorate I don’t feel like dragging that shit out, just to put it away again two weeks later.

Thanksgiving is about being grateful that your kids love you unconditionally even though you are an idiot.  It is about being glad you have someone to fuck up (yes, I said “fuck” in a holiday post, that’s just how I roll), cooking dinner for in the first place.  It’s about having had a relationship to make these beautiful kids even if it failed (maybe it’ll teach you something for the next one).  Thanksgiving is awesome because it isn’t about buying crap for people out of obligation and running up debt.  It’s about hanging out with people you like and eating (which is always fun) and drinking (also one of my favorite things) and bullshitting (because they like you too and want to listen).

Thanksgiving is about being grateful, not about being perfect.  This Thanksgiving, focus on your family not on obligations or appearances.