This is the most wonderful time of the year.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. The significance of celebrating the birth of Christ aside (and tbh I’m not particularly religious), I find Thanksgiving superior to Christmas for the following reasons:
- More days off.
- It’s always the same day of the week.
- No gift pressure.
- ALL the food.
- Being thankful for family and friends and spending time together.
- The kick off of the holiday/Christmas season! Because yes, I love that, too.
It’s funny how much things can change in just two years…. and how much doesn’t change.
I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving this year because I do not intend to attempt to impress anyone. You can look back at some of my older posts (here and here) to see the various things that have consumed my thoughts over Thanksgivings past — namely, failing to cook because I’m too hungover, worrying about the status of my home, worrying about my own life status, etc.
(Side note: It cracks me up to look at older posts where I used code names for everyone. Silly!)
So with that, I would like to announce that this is the Thanksgiving of giving zero fucks.
Have some more pie, suckas.
Now, don’t get me wrong. My parents and my brother and his girlfriend are all coming from Ohio. I ordered a turkey from Whole Foods, so yeah. We’re still going to have a meal. I will bathe, the house will be passably clean and I’m even making a cute centerpiece for our table. It’s not that no effort will be put in, it’s just that I’m not going to worry about details like:
- My weight and monetary status (we’ll get to that).
- The house being spotless. People are just gonna fuck it up, anyway.
- Am I drunk? (hopefully) Am I hungover? (hopefully not)
As of Monday of Thanksgiving week at 3:11 p.m., this is my current status:
(Those sliders do look good, though.)
Luke is picking up the turkey today, but I still have to get EVERYTHING else. And I’m not even going to do it until tomorrow. I spent all of last weekend (in town) barely thinking about it and doing exactly zero shopping. We did some half assed meal planning, but not really. It’ll come together.
This isn’t really the me I’m used to. I’m a planner. I make an entire perfect plan in my head and even though it doesn’t play out exactly that way, the plan gives me comfort, direction, a goal of sorts.
You know what else it does, though? Sets me up for big-time failure. As of late, I find certain plans to be exhausting. I’ve also found that when I wait, sometimes parts just come together on their own in a way that wouldn’t have happened if all those items were already checked off.
I’m also learning that if “super planner” me and “pretty much waited til the last minute” me met around noon on Thanksgiving, the results of both ways of doing things would likely be pretty similar, but I’d put money on the fact that the latter version of myself might actually be having a better time.
Now, back to that weird comment about my weight.
I’m pretty happy these days. I’d have to say there are just two major things that plague me that I wish would improve: I’m overweight, and I’m mostly broke.
The fact that I’m the key answer to solving both of those problems isn’t lost on me. I can’t budget my way out of a paper bag. I’m an instant gratification person a lot of the time. I work hard, and I play hard.
Some days, reading the news headlines, I think that is totallllllly fine. Lord knows where this world is going.
But I digress.
Over the years, I’ve had a pretty significant mental shift and a redefining of sorts of what happiness is, at least for me. I used to engage in a dangerous way of thinking that went something like “Things are good, but they’ll be GREAT when…..” As if once I reached certain milestones, then I could really be happy. So what was the present? Just some kind of life placeholder?
I’ve decided that’s no way to live. So, I live. I enjoy myself. I count my blessings and I still strive for self-improvement and I still have goals, but I really try not to beat myself up all the time for not being at a certain level. Some days are harder than others, obviously. Sometimes I do have to smack myself around a little. But for the most part, here I am, flaws and all. And I’m so thankful I’m here.
It’s a constant struggle, though, and one that experiences minor to major setbacks, especially when….
My parents come to town.
I haven’t blogged about this because, it’s hard, and also because not all dirty laundry needs to be aired, but I will say this: My parents and I had words this past summer. This will be the first time we’re together since. We’ve texted, emailed and had limited phone conversation, so we’re not actively in a fight or anything, but things are still a little raw for me.
Even though I’m so much like them, I’m not like they were at 34. Our lifestyles are totally different. They say they get it, and for the most part seem proud to support me in my life choices, but do they really get it? Do our parents ever really get who we are?
So, last time they were in town, they decided to get really judgy. Their timing was great. Luke and I were moving, our good friends were having a big, fun wedding (which my parents also attended) and it was Fourth of July weekend.
I mean, I’m no expert on judgment, but this seems like a fantastic time to judge someone’s stress level, alcohol consumption and just general way of living. Sure. It’s just annnnnnny other day- where you’re moving, going to a wedding and celebrating our nation’s freedom. Let’s go to church!
The big difference between this time and other times this has happened in the past was where I am with myself and my life mentally. So I basically told them to fuck off, in so many words.
The thing is, my parents in recent years have become my friends — and I feel like they betrayed me when they judged me. They’re not my friends. The judgment goes both ways too (at times), but I kept my mouth shut. So yeah, I can treat them like other parents. There’s “me” and then there’s me. Filters are certainly possible.
But I’m not sure what to expect of this visit.
The thing is, I’m not really nervous. For one thing, my brother and his girlfriend are there, too (and he is the king of giving zero fucks), but also… I’m caring less and less what my parents think. What really matters is that I need to believe in myself and my own life. Luke and my friends play a huge part in making that possible, but I know much of it has to come from within.
So this year, I guess I would say I’m most thankful for the ability to stop apologizing to myself or others about who I am, flaws and all.
I know my parents love me, and I love them, too. They tried to say they just say things out of concern — but the thing is, that concern is coming from a place where life looks different than mine does, or something. It’s not on me to get inside their heads. And I’m done waiting for some special day where I can be happy. I want to be happy now. I choose to be happy now. I hope they’re happy, too.