This is my first Thanksgiving alone in 10 years. Yep, I counted...2001 was the last time I flew completely solo on Thanksgiving. I remember it well. I was hanging with Mo at her condo on Queen Anne, Nat was with her dad and his family and Brett (just my boyfriend at that point) was in Hawaii with his buddy. It was nice, just me and Mo. Relaxing and quiet.
10 years later, divorced mother of 4, my ex has our 3 children in Florida with his parents and Nat is with her dad again. It feels kind of strange, not like today should be a major holiday. Just another day. While I am enjoying the quiet of my house and having a break from the daily stresses that come with single parenting 4 kids, I miss them like crazy. I'm not crying about it or being "woe is me" all day long, but there is this dull ache in my heart that longs for those little people...crazy as they make me sometimes.
I am lucky, I have numerous places I can spend Thanksgiving, with wonderful people who love me. Such a good problem to have...choosing where I shall go and who I will spend my time with. But still, it is kind of lonely. Holidays are not always kind to single people, divorced people. Holidays are for families and society doesn't treat all families the same. Mom, dad, 2.5 kids and a dog...that's pretty much the acceptable family. Holidays are not made for "broken" families. This was really tough for me the last couple years. But now, not so much.
This is the first holiday season in years that I haven't looked upon with sadness. Even when I was married the holiday season made me sad because it reminded me that another year had passed and my life was still unhappy and nothing was changing for the better despite our efforts. And then you deal with coping with the singleness and brokenness during the holidays. And then....you get over it. You just GET OVER IT and it is what it is. Not bad not good and you can just be happy with what is.
Today I get to do whatever I want. I get to go wherever I want. I don't have to fight with anyone about who's parents' house we will spend the day at or if we should have the holiday at our own house. I don't have to get a buncha kids all cleaned up and dolled up to show off to the relatives. I don't have to cook or clean for anyone. I can go wherever I want and be with whomever I choose - be it family or friends. Today, I call the shots. It's rather liberating. It's a freedom that most people don't have on Thanksgiving.
And so, on that note, I am enjoying my coffee, gearing up for a killer Thanksgiving workout and then I will stop at Starbucks (because they're open today) and get myself my favorite drink and then I will spend the day amongst people I choose to be with, people who fill me up and make me whole. And while I will be missing my babies today, I know they are all being loved, having fun and will be back in my arms soon enough.
Today I am thankful...simply because it's TODAY, not yesterday.
Make your holiday YOURS, whatever it may look like.