First and foremost, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I hope this year has brought you lots to be thankful for.
I spent this Thanksgiving flying solo – well, lying low in my apartment with my cat and my friend’s dog. My family initially planned to come visit me this year, but their travel arrangements fell through so I didn’t have to learn to cook a turkey after all. Instead I got to spend my four-day weekend in my apartment (for which I am thankful) cuddling my cat (for whom I am thankful) and dogsitting my for my friend (for whom I am also thankful).
After a few days feeling under the weather with a gross, no-fun cold, I woke up on Thursday even earlier than I do on a typical workday for a Turkey Trot 5k. I haven’t run 3 miles since a 5k on July 4th, and have only been getting in 2-mile runs once or twice a week recently. Despite being out of shape, I finished with a time I was proud of (33:04) and had SO much fun! There were 1200 runners and the race was almost entirely on paved paths through the woods instead of a typical road race. It may be the start of a new tradition for me!
Besides the turkey trot, my Thanksgiving itself was uneventful. Several long dog walks, a nice phone call with my family, tv time (I’m slowly working my way through The X-Files for the first time), and finishing up Killers of the Flower Moon, one of the best books I’ve read all year. I ate pasta and a microwave meal. It was nice, if a little boring.
Friday included two (yes, two) trips to Wal Mart because I’d put off errands for too long and was eager to decorate my apartment for Christmas. I spent most of the day decorating, then all evening appreciating my newly-decorated apartment. It’s hard for me to describe how very much I love Christmas decorations. My mom shipped me all the ornaments that had been given to me over the years, plus some of hers to help fill out my tree, and I got emotional with each ornament I pulled out of the box. Some I made in elementary school, and my mom lovingly hung them on her tree every year alongside the gorgeous crystal snowflakes and hand-blown bulbs. The act of decorating is so full of special memories, and I love the way my tiny apartment feels when it smells of pine and is lit entirely by mini Christmas lights.
As much as I enjoy decorating for Christmas, and as much as I relished being off the roads and out of airports during the holiday madness, this Thanksgiving felt pretty dang lonely. It’s not the first Thanksgiving I wasn’t able to spend with my family, but it’s the first one I spent alone and I was missing my people.
Feeling lonely and missing people got me to thinking on how lucky I am to have people to miss, people who fill most of my days with smiles and laughs and good conversation. I have plenty to be grateful for – a job I enjoy with a company I truly love, a cute little apartment near work, relatively good health, an income that allows me to travel with relative ease – but the jewel on the crown of blessings is my people. I hope this year you have lots to be thankful for, and I hope you take some time to think about the people who enrich your life and tell them what they mean to you.