Hide the Turkeys

I can’t believe it’s almost Thanksgiving. As I woke up this morning, this was the first thought in my head: “Thanksgiving is this Thursday. What. The. Heck?!?” I feel like we were in Texas visiting my family for the Summer just a couple of days ago. And school started, like, yesterday. So, yeah. I don’t understand where the time has gone. Or how it has passed by so quickly. It’s one of those weird things … Like, if you try to sit and figure it out, it will continually slip away from you, until you are left feeling confused and foggy about everything. Does that even make sense? I don’t know. It makes sense in my head, because that’s how I feel. I often feel as if I wander through life in a bit of a fog, eternally confused as to how I got to where I am and just where the heck I thought I was going. And, lately, I feel confused as to how life can change so drastically in such a short time. Maybe that’s just me.

I’m not sure I have felt extra thankful in recent months. I know I haven’t felt thankful in recent weeks. My aunt’s sudden death has taken a toll on my life, both externally and internally. I have felt sad, angry, confused, devastated … Just, all the feelings that I don’t want to feel. I don’t understand how my aunt — both of my aunts, actually — can not be here any longer. I don’t understand how the world can keep on turning when my heart is broken. And yet, it does keep on turning. Life just keeps on rolling right over us, no matter what. Sometimes, this is okay. Sometimes, it’s even a good thing. But sometimes, it leaves me feeling as if I’ve been ground down into dust by a giant steamroller. Lately, there have been a lot more steamroller moments than anything else. I know I need to get out of this funk. I know I need to get over it all and move on. Day to day, I’m generally all right. I go through the day and get things done. Things like laundry and cooking dinner and picking up my child and taking my child to after-school activities and feeding the dogs and walking. You know … “life”. I laugh. I feel love. I enjoy things. I feel happy when the sun hits my face and the sky is super blue. Underneath, I’m still sad. I can forget about it for a while, but it sneaks up on me. The sadness can come up and grab me when I least expect it. Or when something makes me think of my aunts. Or when I talk to my mom and hear the sadness in her voice, even though she tries to hide it. Or when I think about my beautiful cousins, who will have to get married and build families and live the rest of their lives without their mom. It’s so unfair.

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And yet, there are things for which I am thankful. I am alive. I have love. I am capable of giving love. I have a happy family and a good life. I have dogs. It’s impossible to have dogs and not realize how fantastic life is or what an adventure it is simply to live each and every day. I have a beautiful daughter. I still have both of my parents. They might be cranky and extra opinionated, but I love them. In so many ways, I am lucky and blessed. It’s easy to forget this in amongst all the every day irritations and annoyances of life. I often feel like it’s easier to focus on those niggling little annoyances. I think this is because they have a tendency to shove themselves into the forefront of every moment of the day, to the point where it’s impossible to ignore them. But the good things … the sweet things in life … Those can be harder to grab onto. You have to reach for them. You have to want to see them.

On Thursday, we will gather at the home of some dear friends. They are people who, over the years, have become more like family than just “friends”. I will look around at my family, at my friends-who-are-family, and at any new friends who will also be there, and I know it will be beautiful. It will feel like one of those moments that are made of the finest, thinnest glass, so that you have to handle it oh-so-gently to make sure it won’t shatter. It will feel like one of those moments I want to tuck away, so that I can keep it forever. So that I can pull it out the next time I’m feeling down and savor it all over again. And I will know: I am blessed. I am happy. I am thankful.

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