Hey, so how was your Thanksgiving? My sister and I were saying we’ve never seen so many articles about how to cope with the holidays. Oh, sure, they always surface around this time, but they are usually more along the lines of “Tips for a Better Holiday Season,” and mostly they just tell you not to drink at your work holiday party and to fill up on healthy foods before you go to any party. I’ve often thought these articles should be called “Tips for the Dullest Holiday Season.” If it’s not about the booze and the food, then what, I ask you, are the holidays about? Well, this year they seem to be about avoiding emotional trauma at Thanksgiving dinner, encouraging people to set boundaries on conversation topics, and giving people permission to walk away if it gets too out of control. The sheer number of these articles and the level of detail is a tad unsettling.
I am grateful that I didn’t need those articles. Being in a family that doggedly avoids conflict can sometimes be unhealthy, but let me tell you, right now we’re looking like rock stars…you know, conflict-avoiding rock stars, not the kind who require the green M&M’s to be removed and who put holes hotel room walls.
The other thing that was unusual is that I got a lot of “Happy Thanksgiving” texts. I usually get 4 or 5, from the usual suspects. This year, my phone kept buzzing most of the day, and I guess only a New Englander would find that disconcerting, but there it is. People get their panties in a twist when some of us say it’s because the election scared the bejesus out of us, but c’mon, you’ve read this blog–I certainly haven’t magically become a better, more lovable person the past year. This one is squarely on the election’s shoulders.
But that about sums up where I am–seeking tips for trauma and reaching out to others. I’m still working on my list of things I am grateful for. My go-to list seems inadequate to the task, and I’m not quite ready to go all out and start naming the parts of our democracy that work or historical figures who made it through really rough times that I will now cling to.
But I also know gratitude doesn’t work like that. So, I will say I am grateful for the Thanksgiving with family and friends, the lively and funny conversation, wine, good food, a couple of good rounds of rummy and Apples to Apples, and FaceTiming with my sister who wasn’t with us. And I’m thankful for all of you who read this.
That’s all I got today, and for now, it’s enough.