The turkey is in the oven, but it’s not time to make the dressing yet; N and G are watching the Macy’s parade on TV; and I’m taking a break to write about what’s been on my mind this Thanksgiving week.
I’ve been crazy-busy with work, mom stuff and preparations for the holiday this past week. Our office had a big project deadline, N’s preschool had a potluck Thanksgiving “feast” and I had a long grocery list but no time for shopping. One morning I awoke at 4:30am and proceeded to lay in bed wide awake until 6:30am, mulling everything over in my head, thinking all the thoughts I don’t have time to think during the daytime.
As I was dragging my tired body to work that morning, I was feeling quite sorry for myself. If anyone had been with me, I would have been complaining about my daily logistical difficulties and grumbling about a need for better balance in my life.
Then another thought occurred to me—it was Thanksgiving week, a time to reflect on our blessings and consider all we’re thankful for. My next thought was that maybe I should be thankful for all those little things I’m complaining about as I navigate my challenging day. The fact is that I have a good job—it provides our family with additional income, gives me intellectual stimulation and flexibility with my part-time schedule. We’re lucky to have great child care at N’s preschool, where N and I had a very special time together the morning of the feast. And what can make one feel more blessed than to be responsible for cooking a big, juicy 13-lb turkey for our own Thanksgiving feast?
I will be honest—I’m not going to stop complaining about everyday frustrations (sorry G). Being a parent is tough, and being a working parent doesn’t make either job any easier. My life is challenging on a daily basis—but I’ve had tougher times in life. I’m just thankful that these relatively minor complaints are the sum total of my challenges right now.
So as our family makes our traditional toast at this year’s dinner, I know what mine will be: let’s give thanks not only for the turkey, but also for the heck of a time I had getting the still-frozen giblets out, running the turkey (and my hands) under ice-cold water at 7:30 this morning.