Hanging on to Thanksgiving

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and I’m sorry, but I’m not going Black Friday shopping. I know this frenzy is good for the economy. I know a lot of people enjoy it. But the last place I want to be right now is in a crowded store.

I still want to bask in that tiny bubble of quiet that began yesterday. The two hours of lingering at my mother’s bountiful table with some of the people I love most in this world, people who love me back no matter how well (or poorly) I happen to be handling my life at any particular moment. The leisurely walk in the desert with my husband and my brother’s family. The choice of three types of pie.

It was disheartening, in some ways, to drive home in the dark last night and see so many Christmas lights twinkling. The turkey is barely cold and already we charge forward in a race to be prepared for the next event.

Though it’s the day after Thanksgiving and I should be frantically filling out my shopping list or licking envelopes for the custom photo cards I (haven’t yet) created, I’m going to hang close to home and keyboard. I have a project to work on today, but it is work of the most joyful kind — creative work that forces the time I crave to process and absorb the events of my life.

When I sent around my eLetter Wednesday, I asked subscribers to tell me what they’re feeling thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend. I’m grateful to the people who paused in their busy lives to share the following reflections, all of which inspire me to focus on the blessings in my own life.

From Trish Dolasinski, Ed.D., of Scottsdale:
As I stopped a moment from cooking and preparing for the Thanksgiving dinner to check my email one last time tonight, I was so happy to see your question. Somehow, it brings it all together in a special way — so thanks much for the opportunity. 

I am thankful for the opportunity to share a feast with family and friends. The traditions of previous generations are brought to the table in a way that connects my family to its roots again and again.  My adult son brings this to mind when he says, “Mom, you’re making Grandma Ennis’ stuffing, aren’t you?”  Of course, I wouldn’t even think of preparing it any other way…but I love it when he asks.

From Jennifer Fabiano of Scottsdale
I’m thankful for my two teenagers, even with all their eye rolls, mood swings and limit testing. I know it’s just how they need to push away from us and grow up. First thing in the morning, if you time it just right, you can catch them unguarded and get a hug and a quick kiss. Thank you, teenagers!

From Mary Martin of Phoenix:
I’m thankful for my doctor! This time last year, I was slowly losing all feeling and use of my hands, feet and legs and none of the specialists I went to could figure out why. My family doctor worked with me, kept sending me to new doctors, and we finally reached a diagnosis: Spinal Stenosis. I had surgery in March and that same day, was able to stand up straight and walk normally for the first time in nearly a year! Within two months, I had recovered full use of both hands as well!

It will be at least a year before I have fully healed, but I don’t mind. After the surgery, I was told, one more day and I would have been a paraplegic for the rest of my life! So yes, I’m very thankful for my doctor for being supportive and helping me research and reach a diagnosis. Happy Thanksgiving, Dr. Coulombe!