Here we are at another Thanksgiving. Holidays like this are frequently full of too much commercialism and Hallmark sponsored moments, running from one family house to the next, cramming kids into cars, then pulling them out, then getting back in, etc, etc... However, Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that actually holds some sway over me.
Thanksgiving, for me, represents one of the occasions where I get to see my extended family and have great food and great fun. Since I am the one with the knife reputation in the family, I usually end up carving a turkey or two and maybe even a ham or two. As official holiday food carver, I get to sample along the way, so I'm not complaining.
I come from a reasonably large family that expands and contracts like all families do. Over the years some of may favorite relatives have passed away and I miss them terribly. All of my Grandparents have passed away, a favorite Aunt and all of the Great Grandparents years before. Each of these big family shindigs remind me of them and the wonderful memories I have of them. It ends up being a good thing- not a bad one. Over the years, the family has been blessed with children, including my own. I have nieces and nephews and cousins aplenty. I will invariably end up on the floor of the den or living room, tickling a nephew, niece, daughter or cousin. Screams will ensue, giggling will turn to shrieks and somebody will end up bonking their head on the coffee table (usually me) and fun will be had by all.
At some point, I will eat way too much and will give my wife that "I'm gonna explode" face that grosses her out (and makes me laugh). The couch will call my name and I will come close to falling asleep until I'm called into the kitchen to discuss something (could be anything). I might get out on the porch with a brother-in-law and have a nice cigar, or maybe just a good beer. Undoubtedly, I'll feel bloated when I climb into the car for the last time for the day.
By the time we get home, my daughter will likely be asleep in the backseat and I'll carry her up the stairs and her hot breath will make my neck sweaty. And I'll be smiling the whole way to her room where she'll likely sleep with her dress on. Our son will flop out on the couch and find something on TV and my wife and I will be exhausted. I'll probably shoot her the "I'm gonna barf" face again just to watch her cringe.
Eventually I'll finally get to go back to bed. Maybe I'll snack on some leftover turkey before I actually end up in bed. Ok, probably I will. Ok, fine, I definitely will.
In the end, I'm thankful every day, but days like Thanksgiving do remind me to stop complaining about the crap that doesn't matter and to just bask in the good things in my life. I have a family that I love very much, a job that I love very much, friends (both here and all over the place- you know who you are) who mean the world to me and I get to ride my bike more days than not.
I hope you have the chance to bask in the things that make you happy too. Be thankful for what you have and don't sweat the things that you don't have. Enjoy your families, friends and loved ones.