Thanksgiving was hard for me this year. I'm sure I'm not the only one, and I don't say that so everyone can go, "Oh poor baby, you have had a really rough year."
But the Thanksgiving's of my childhood were always so happy. The grandparents came over, mom cooked a huge feast, I read whatever book I was obsessed with and, when I was old enough to drive, my sister and I would make a master plan to be at JCPenny's at 4 a.m. Black Friday when they opened to get our free snow globe and take on all the stores from there.
It wasn't much, but the predictability was perfect, and I was extremely thankful. I was thankful for my home, my friends, my family, good food, and peace. This year I've realized that I still have friends and family, and I still have much to be thankful for, but the reason I want to withdraw, the reason I'd like to hide under the covers, is because I don't have much peace.
These holidays are being overshadowed with who is missing. December 10th will be ten years since my papa passed away, ten years of holidays without him when holidays were his time of year. These holidays will be my first without the babies I thought I was going to have, the ones that I'm still accepting were real and gone before I ever got to feel a kick. Those losses, they unsettle my peace. They unsettle me.
So trying to be thankful, trying to be in the holiday spirit this year, is challenging.
However, I know I still have so much to be grateful for, so to ground myself, and to offset my lack of peace, I need to remind myself of the good things that are in my life, and that deserve to be appreciated.
1.) Jace Alexander. He's willful, intelligent, creative, compassionate, inquisitive, and his smile melts me every time. Even if he is the only baby I ever meet on earth, I am still luckier than I deserve to have him.
2.) The security of a job. It's not my favorite, but it is a steady paycheck, teaches me new (and old) skills, and has hours that are regular and make it easier for me to plan things out.
3.) Family. Family that have taken in my family when living on our own wasn't a possibility. Family that have responded to texts when I am uncertain of my next move, that have sat in waiting rooms with me until past midnight waiting for my husband to get out of surgery, and that have done what they can to help us through the rough year.
4.) Friends. Without my friends I guarantee you that I would not still be around to post this. My people have been the ones to keep me sane, and to continue standing beside me when I am insane. They have opened their homes to me, they have done more for me than I ever thought I deserved, and even when I was barely functional in my depression, or lashing out at everyone in anger, they still show me support and love.
5.) God. Though I may not understand this plan, and I may not understand why anything has happened, I know without a doubt that I am a child of God, and it is not up to me to understand everything, but I can trust that I am in the hands of someone that does know and does understand. And that even when I am furious and angry, when I am childish, and even when I am running away, I am loved.
These things, these relationships and securities, they are what ground me when I start to drown in the losses. When I feel uncertain, I remember what I am certain of, and those are what I feel grateful for.